Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Spreading hope through crowdfunding

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Actor Kunal Kapoor, apart from being the talented actor that he is, has equally been working towards bringing social change, being the co-founder of Ketto, a fundraiser initiative. The actor takes The Pioneer over an exclusive chat through the inspiration of getting on board for the initiative, addressing diverse social change, and more.
SHIKHA DUGGAL
Actor Kunal Kapoor’s acquaintance with Ketto began with one of his domestic workers, whose son was given a cancer diagnosis when he was just four years old. Even after doing everything, right from selling assets, applying for loans, or depending on the generosity of strangers—their family was still unable to raise the money necessary for his treatment.
Having personally witnessed their plight, the former AD felt obliged to assist. In this exclusive chat for our weekly segment, he goes on, “Because of its safe and transparent fundraising procedure, the well-known crowd-funding platform has grown in popularity and confidence over time among donors and activists. By actively collaborating with campaigners to track their progress and authenticating campaigns, they guarantee that all funds generated are used for their intended purpose. Moreover, it has been instrumental in endorsing social impact projects and providing assistance to local organisations around India.”
The Rang De Basanti actor decided to enter the crowdfunding arena because he really wanted to democratise charity, and have a real impact on important social concerns!
As a co-founder of Ketto, his motivation stemmed from the conviction that conventional fundraising approaches frequently lacked the capacity to efficiently mobilise resources and reach a larger audience. Additionally, “Our determination to create this crowd-funding platform was fuelled by witnessing the immense potential of crowdfunding to address diverse social challenges. I witnessed directly how it could strengthen community-based efforts, assist underprivileged areas, and spark good change on a large scale. All things considered, the decision to enter the crowdfunding market was motivated by a common goal: to gather the goodwill of people everywhere and use it to build a more just and compassionate world.”
The platform intends to commemorate this year by carrying out its numerous campaigns to advance the idea of crowdsourcing and increase public awareness of its social implications. Apart from these endeavours, it is also striving to establish a crowdfunding environment that is more varied and inclusive. Through the platform, underrepresented populations are able to generate money for their causes by giving them access to tools and resources. Additionally, it is working with other platforms and organisations to develop a more cohesive and cooperative crowdfunding environment. #HappilyEverAfter, its most recent social media campaign, has received a lot of support and admiration!
“It’s clearly had a significant impact on a personal level,” remarks the Bachna Ae Haseeno actor as he continues, “You know, there are folks on a daily basis that need to pay for their medical crisis but don’t have the funds to do so. This group includes not just those from lower socioeconomic classes but also those who have achieved some degree of success in life due to the high cost of medical care at times. Furthermore, I was at a pediatric hospital not too long ago. The medical professionals there informed me that between 35 and 40 percent of BMT patients—children in need of bone marrow transplants—are made possible by crowdsourcing! Additionally, many of these kids wouldn’t have had access to those funds earlier, making it impossible for that to happen. Thus, it is evident that it had a significant impact on each person’s specific medical demands.”
It’s really hard to choose just one campaign for him because there have been so many great ones. However, there have been campaigns where athletes have competed internationally and won medals, and those are undoubtedly campaigns that have made him extremely proud. Athletes have also benefited from funding for their equipment and training through our platform. He also witnessed the enormous difference crowdsourcing made in the pandemic.
“When the crisis happened, I saw the plight of all the stray animals in the streets and decided to help them. I raised about 25 lakhs on the platform, and I would go and feed all the stray animals on the street every day,” he recalls. “I had a friend who’s never really done anything charitable. Additionally, I had a friend whose 9-year-old daughter was watching the immigration problem with her father when she remarked, ‘Dad, I want to do something, I don’t want to just watch.’ When he called me, and asked whether I could help her launch a campaign. For me, that was very special because it demonstrated that there is a desire to do good and that many people want to do good but that the avenues weren’t previously available to them. This 9-year-old launched a campaign and raised 15 lakhs for these migrant workers.”
It has been a lengthy and occasionally quite difficult road that began in 2011 when Varun, Zaheer, and he had their first meeting and determined they wanted to work in this field. The main notion was that they encountered a great deal of people who were in need of assistance and a great deal of people who could provide it! And for some reason, these individuals weren’t connecting, so they thought it would be a great idea to leverage technology to create a bridge between those in need of assistance and those who can provide it. This is how Ketto was born!
Everything has been quite difficult since, well, the main task was to create a place where none had before existed. It was not, therefore, an industry with a large number of participants and widespread awareness of the subject. People had to be kind of educated from the beginning and made aware of what they were doing on a variety of levels. That was really difficult, then. The other difficulty, in the founder’s opinion, is that a company like this depends on openness and confidence. “And that’s something that we’ve always tried to push, incorporate, and encourage,” he says, continuing along the same lines. “Indeed, a small percentage of people will always abuse such a forum. The goal has been to employ technology in as many ways as possible while putting as many safeguards in place as possible to ensure that a platform like this is never abused. Additionally, to create the greatest amount of transparency.”
Kunal has only made use of every channel at his disposal—doing interviews such as this one, giving speeches on stages in public, and speaking at tech conferences—to raise awareness of the existence of this kind of platform and the potential power of crowdfunding. “A tiny portion of the population has always had access to capital as it currently exists. A significant portion of the populace has never had access to funding, whether it is for beginning their own business or taking care of their medical needs. Ketto also demonstrates unity by matching contributors’ contributions to a campaign. Donors can benefit from tax savings as one of its incentives. Last but not least, it plans offline gatherings and networking opportunities for supporters on holidays. It also organises in-person events to engage with those who serve as the backbone of society.”
A fresh approach to the health covers is offered by Ketto’s new platform, Health Plus. Its goal is to offer cheap plans with discounts and at reasonable prices. It offers options that are perfect for the family and include unlimited doctor support!
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