Published: 19th October 2017
Bengaluru school students turn guardian angels; crowdfund Rs 17 Lakh for cataract surgeries for the elderly
Apart from going door to door to spread the message, many students used their parents WhatsApp groups to spread the word since many do not have social media or mobile phones
As one grows older, a cataract in your eye can shut your world out. Even though all it takes is a simple surgery, not everyone is privileged or wealthy enough to afford it. But thanks to the students of Delhi Public School Bangalore - East, we now strike the names of 2,500 people off that list.
These students used crowdfunding platform fueladream.com to raise around Rs 16.64 Lakh to help the rural poor in Bengaluru to fund their cataract surgeries. None of the money was collected by them but was directly transferred online. "It is a very innovative way of collecting funds. It is important for students to realise at such a young age that they can actually make a difference," says Priti Soota, the school's senior Headmistress.
"We're also trying to highlight the positive aspects of social media," she says. The campaign named Gift Sight was organised in collaboration with Rotary Club Indira Nagar and Globe Eye Foundation. Eighty-five students from classes VIII to XI are currently running the campaign.
Since most of the students didn't have Facebook or Instagram profiles, they used their parents' accounts and WhatsApp groups to spread the message. A lot of them, in fact, went around convincing neighbours and adults to contribute generously. Priti felt that the campaign also helped her students develop their soft skills. She certainly has enough reasons to take up similar campaigns.
We also spoke to Gowri Harish, a class XI student who managed to raise Rs 1.52 Lakh all by herself. "I raised 20,000 on the first day itself from my neighbours. I also sold old newspapers. Then I reached out to my relatives and friends," she says. It wasn't a cakewalk for her though. She found it difficult to reach out to people when it was convenient for them, but she made sure that they contributed towards her cause. For the past couple of years, Gowri has been a part of an NGO. She is also campaigning for cancer and AIDS patients. "I've donated my hair a couple of times. But this is the first time that I'm raising funds," she says.