Vijayawada: A need as basic as medical care becomes beyond the reach of a family when financial requirements form a barrier. During such emergencies, the family is forced to give up on all that they have earned and saved to ensure the ailing member stays with them in good health. Milaap, South Asia’s largest crowdfunding platform is supporting many families through its platform in Vijayawada to get help in case of medical and emergency cases. In Telugu states among tier-2 cities, Vijayawada is leading in medical crowdfunding.
Anoj Viswanathan, President and Co-founder of Milaap, says, “Vijayawada alone has raised around 2.5+ crores with over 14 thousand donors. We have seen more than 1000 campaigns setup for various categories. There has been a clear growth in medical needs being crowdfunded. Although medical fundraisers constitute about 75 per cent of the fundraisers set up from Vijayawada, they have raised more than 95 per cent of the total 2.5+ crore raised from the city.
When Baby of Priyadarshini was born premature and admitted in NICU Care, the father, Sivaram started a crowdfunding campaign to provide long term continuous treatment in Vijayawada. By then he already spent 11 Lakhs and he exhausted all his savings. Through his campaign with Milaap, he raised around 20 Lakhs with over 350 supporters. Speaking about the success of the campaign, Milaap’s campaign manager for the fundraiser Yogesh said, “Sivaram worked at a private bank as Manager, he shared the campaign among 3 other branches. He also has few close friends in the US who helped him to reach the target amount”.
Similarly, Aditya, the father of Baby of Anusha started a fundraising campaign when his son started having some birth complications. He already spent 2.7 Lakhs and exhausted all his savings. When he had no way to go ahead with treatment, one of his relatives suggested starting a campaign. Sharing his fundraising experience, Aditya said, “Within around 20 days I could mobilise more than 3+ Lakhs from around 200 donors. Campaign Manager guided us on how to raise funds through sharing in social media with relatives and friends. The withdrawal process is also simple and I got the funds raised in time to pay the hospital bills.”
Milaap has raised nearly 1200 Crores from 4.2 Lakh donors for such health, emergency, education, charity etc. While the platform is primarily for medical causes and emergencies, there are other sets of campaigns which raise money for diverse causes.
C. Vimala, the founder of Sudheekshan Foundation has started a fundraising campaign to aid victims of road accidents. One of the Sudheekshan Foundation’s projects is to identify and provide prosthetic limbs to children and young people. Since 13 years i.e 2007, the foundation has provided 6500 prosthetic limbs, legs, hands and motorized wheelchairs. Many children and youngsters who got support are completing their studies and fulfilling their dreams.
CovidWire (‘https://covidwire.in’), a web application for mobile phones. It is a media initiative by two youngsters Sarigama and Gowtham from the city, to curate authentic COVID-19 related news and provide translations for the same. The duo started an online crowdfunding campaign with Milaap to bear the expenses for running the application. “There was so much information overload about the pandemic from several sources, some with questionable authenticity, that we felt there was a need for a single platform where verified news could be collated and provided in a readable format, without resorting to sensationalism or click-bait,” Sarigama said.
While the platform can only extend support for causes in India, fundraisers can accept help from anywhere across the world.