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Online fund-raising is new saviour in Kashmir

December 13, 2018

Srinagar, Dec 12: From helping in fund raising for medical treatment or education, the valley-based online platforms are turning out to be the real friends of those in need.

The online crowd-funding for social causes is growing in the valley, aiming to raise money for the worthy causes.

One such initiative is ‘Pledge”, a platform to help the downtrodden, overlooked and victimised sections of society.

The giving platform recently helped a female hailing from Bandipora.

Her husband had a meager salary of Rs 4,000 per month and she required Rs 2.5 lakh for a heart dual valve replacement.

Similarly, the platform also intervened in case of a young female patient in SMHS whose family could hardly afford food and she had her daily medical expenses amounting to Rs 3,000.

One of the co-founders of the group, Khawar Khan Achakzai, recalls, “It was when we were campaigning in favour of an unfortunate minor who was raped and murdered that I met a few people who had a zeal for social activism. We somehow kept in touch, most of us. One of them once called me that they were organizing a health camp in a Leprosarium in Srinagar, an area which has been left in the dungeons of indifference and oblivion.”

This was the trigger for Khawar to become a social worker. At the camp, they finally came up with the idea of creating an open platform for social work.

“I was stunned at how interested the youth were ready to donate in their time, talents and money to help towards envisaging the downtrodden and poorer sections of the society, but what lacked was proper channelizing of the resources they had,” says Khawar, a doctor by profession.

The group currently has 30 professionals and students as volunteers or support persons.

The group members raise funds by writing a profile of the potential beneficiary and publicising it on their online pages.

Alternatively, those in need approach Pledge to promote their request through established social media networks.

A major challenge faced by the group is sustained support.“We raise funds for a particular case, but we need people helping us in the long run,” explains the 30-year-old doctor.

“There is a village languishing in abject poverty and unemployment. We are looking forward to intervene. We are also planning to help some psychiatric patients abandoned by their families, with medications and other stuff. For next year we have planned to highlight the growing incidence of sexual abuse among children in Kashmir,” informs Khawar.

Another anonymous group on social media recently helped raise Rs 84,000 in 72 hours for a person belonging to a poor family.

He needed money to clear the loan he had taken for his sister’s marriage. “The smile on his face after clearing the debts is expressible,” says the co-founder of the group, wishing anonymity.

“It would have taken him more than 5 years to achieve the target and with the grace of Almighty Allah and the esteemed donors we were able to do it in just 72 hours, hereby relieving him from immense trauma and struggle.”

Similarly, the online crowd-funding initiative raised money for a woman with two young children.

The female was abandoned by her husband and had no money to sustain on her own.“Today, she makes different products of yarn wool which are promoted on our social media pages. Those who want to place an order can do it through the platform,” says the founder.

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Hirra Azmat

When the world fails to make sense, Hirra Azmat seeks solace in words. Both worlds, literary and the physical lend color to her journalism.

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