Mobility is one word that makes a big difference. It is defined by one’s ability to move or be moved freely and easily. It allows you to travel, at will, from one place to another, thus enriching all the other aspects of your existence. Your work, livelihood, freedom and quality of life highly depend on it. Freedom of both, the mind and body is threatened and the very idea of self is fractured for individuals who are immobile, handicapped or amputated.
In India over five million people have lost one or both legs and with the average cost of Rs 7,500, a play in prosthetics is only but a distant dream. Many amputees live unfulfilled lives - directly affecting their income generating opportunities and some of them are reduced to begging in order to support their families and themselves.
Zoomcar is an online car rental portal for individuals who love to drive themselves. It quips the renter with the freedom to drive himself at will and explore his surroundings on his own terms. The company lives by the motto ‘Self-drive for the Self driven’ and prides itself for highlighting the joys and benefits of self-driving. Our friends at Zoomcar in collaboration with Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust helmed a project with us to help the underprivileged physically challenged people and the results of their efforts are both enriching and heartwarming.
As part of their yearly CSR initiative, on Republic Day, Zoomcar started a fundraiser on Ketto for Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust. The objective of the fundraiser was to enable the physically challenged people to get back to the things they love by providing them with a device called prosthesis. The prosthesis is a waterproof minimum maintenance limb that will allow the beneficiaries to walk on undulated terrain, squat, sit cross-legged, run, climb a mountain or a tree, ride a bicycle or drive a car.
The Trust with over two decades of experience is committed to the welfare of disabled people from marginalized sections of society, helping them find jobs and financial security. Since 2001, it has provided nearly 2.3 lakh appliances - Jaipur foot, wheelchairs, calipers and hearing aids to India’s disabled population. Mobility camps are organized around the year where various aids like the Jaipur foot and crutches are fitted and distributed to the handicapped.
In a matter of just four days, the fundraiser met its goal of Rs. 1,50,000. The company reached out to their database of loyal customers explaining how the cause was important to them and how a donation of a few thousand rupees had the potential to uplift many lives. With multiple shares on both Facebook and Twitter, the fundraiser found resonance with 188 unique supporters who whole heartedly supported the Zoomcar initiative.
When we spoke to Madhukar who was recently fitted with a prosthetic leg, he said “I thank everyone associated with this campaign, i lost my limb to a tragedy when I was 10 years old since then life has been pretty challenging, I had completely given up on the idea of being independent until I was registered with the Ratna Nidhi Trust. After a long wait I was recently fitted with the Jaipur Foot, I cannot express how I feel, I can live life on my own terms, I am grateful that in an age where people don’t have time to look away from their phones someone cares enough to think about us, that our lives matter too. I would see the world passing by as I would sit stationary in my chair, but now I have the confidence to walk shoulder to shoulder with the world”
That's the beauty of crowdfunding - by taking less than 3 minutes out of their busy lives, 188 people helped 20 individuals from the poorest pockets of India discover a new lease of life through their prosthesis. A big shout out to Zoomcar for fueling such a brilliant initiative.