Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has infected more than 4.9 lakh people worldwide, killing more than 22,000. In India alone, it has so far caused 17 deaths and infected at least 600 people across 27 states, as of 27th March 2020. In the past week, several states across India have put safety first by closing down schools, colleges, malls, theatres, restaurants, shops and non-essential workplaces, recommending working from home where possible. The country is now under a lockdown for 21 days.
However, there are many people in our society like doctors, nurses, delivery staff, conservancy workers (garbage/waste segregators) and field volunteers, among others, still working tirelessly to ensure our societal needs are met: often at the risk of their personal safety. Moreover, with the increasing number of people being tested positive worldwide, it’s also important to remember that not everyone can remain in quarantine without their lives being completely upturned. The financial impact of the pandemic, especially on blue-collar workers and families that survive on a daily wage, is far reaching.
This Sunday, on March 22 2020, Milaap, South Asia’s largest crowdfunding platform, opened itself up for fundraisers around Covid-19. In an attempt to help those whose lives have been worst affected by the pandemic, a separate page, milaap.org/covid19 has been launched. The causes range from providing essentials to nearby slums in bigger cities to equipping doctors/their social initiatives with protective gear, and even ventilators for smaller hospitals without the facility. While renowned people like Luis Miranda and Venkat Iyer have set up fundraisers on one hand, there are many regular individuals who are raising funds to support particular families in distress around them. In the spirit of global solidarity, Milaap has waived off their platform fee completely for all fundraisers under this cause.
Mayukh Choudhury, CEO and co-founder of Milaap said, “This crowd funding project is to highlight citizen initiatives across India to mitigate the economic crisis faced by vulnerable families, as well as support those who are in the frontlines, with the monetary resources they deserve. Our larger objective is to inspire each one of us to look within our circles, our neighbourhoods, and support the vulnerable in this hour of need. While it might take a while to get back to normalcy, even small acts of kindness can make this easier.”
“We have always stood by communities during natural calamities and disasters. This is no different. In this digital era, generosity can flow unhinged even when physical infrastructure crumbles. Many of our donors have reached out to us for verified, credible avenues to express their support for citizen-led fundraising initiatives. Within a week, nearly 6000 donors have supported fundraisers under the cause and the number is rising as we speak. Since the only way to fight a crisis at this scale is to do it together, Milaap is doing it’s best so that people can help each other. On our end, we are offering the platform at a 0% fee so that people in need can get all the help coming their way.” he added.
Milaap, a crowdfunding platform primarily for personal medical causes has so far raised nearly 10 Crores from 40,000+ donors for such emergency causes and disaster relief, including the floods in Chennai, Assam and Kerala. While the platform can only extend support for causes in India, fundraisers can accept help from anywhere across the world.
There are 3 ways to participate
- Make a donation to any of the campaigns listed at milaap.org/covid19
- Start your own fundraiser for someone who’s been affected by the crisis. It could be an individual (eg your household help, an office colleague) or a neighborhood initiative (eg local restaurant, school meals program). Rally your friends, neighbors and colleagues to contribute. Fundraising is free - there are NO charges on donations received.
- Get inspired and do it in your circle (family/neighbors) supporting a vulnerable family directly