Mum stu­dents raise 43L for the dis­abled

Pro­vide Pros­thetic Legs To The Needy From Vi­darbha

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Bhavika Jain & Vi­nam­rata Bor­wankar

Mum­bai: If ed­u­ca­tion’s pur­pose is to serve so­ci­ety, this bunch of young schoolkids is do­ing just that. Stu­dents of Bom­bay Scot­tish School in Mum­bai are col­lect­ing funds to help pro­vide ar­ti­fi­cial limbs to those from re­mote vil­lages in the back­ward Vi­darbha re­gion.

As many as 156 of th­ese stu­dents, from classes 9 to 12, have so far raked in more than Rs 43 lakh through crowd­fund­ing. The funds, which have poured in from 1,428 peo­ple from across 165 towns in In­dia, will not just of­fer the vil­lagers a pros­thetic limb, but will give them mo­bil­ity and a “new shot at life”.

“It’s heart-warm­ing that th­ese young chil­dren have taken this ini­tia­tive to such heights,” said Dr Sun­der Subra­ma­nium, of the NGO Free­dom Trust, which is co­or­di­nat­ing the project.

Each of the stu­dents had set a tar­get for them­selves to gar­ner at least Rs 20,000. So far, at least 100 of them have met their tar­gets and some of them have even crossed the min­i­mum amount. Four of them have gone be­yond Rs 1 lakh in just 10 days.

The cost of each limb tots up to Rs 10,000. The sheer ef­fort of the stu­dents trans­lates into chang­ing the lives of more than 400 peo­ple. The cam­paign ends on Novem­ber19, by which time the stu­dents hope to col­lect Rs 50 lakh. Ansh Pa­tel, a class XI stu­dent who tapped his par­ents’ con­tact lists, said he was wor­ried if peo­ple would even hear him out. “But once I started send­ing mes­sages, the re­sponse was great,” he said.

Dia Paras­ram­puria, a class XI stu­dent who raised Rs 1.43 lakh, said her fa­ther was a “big help” in the ef­fort.

Saachi Ka­mat, a class XI com­merce stu­dent who has col­lected Rs 1.28 lakh, is thrilled at how strangers helped. “About 80% of funds I re­ceived came from peo­ple I didn’t know,” said Saachi.

Ran­ganath Thota, founder of ‘fu­e­ladream’, the crowd­fund­ing site on which the funds are be­ing col­lected, said crowd­fund­ing max­imises sto­ry­telling, and so­cial me­dia max­imises im­pact. Maryam Moza­yan, who who has raised Rs 1.34 lakh , said she did it only be­cause help­ing peo­ple makes her happy. The help, said Dr Subra­ma­nium, is more than what the kids can imag­ine. “Pa­tients come crawl­ing into our camps. But thanks to ini­tia­tives like this one, they will go home back on their feet.”

A pros­thetic leg is handed over to a woman at a spe­cial camp held by the NGO Free­dom Trust re­cently

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