It’s said that if you want something hard enough, somehow, it just gets done. This comes close to explaining why two college friends who met 10 years ago, stayed in touch all this while and made something beautiful happen.
Meher Malik, the director of Banjara School of Dance - India’s largest belly dance school met Saurabh in NIFT and instantly befriended him. Hailing from Allahabad, Saurabh is a polio patient with 90% disability that has affected his whole body except his right hand & brain.
But before you feel pity or sad for him, here’s something you need to know about Saurabh and his unwavering willpower.
He made a bold move of moving out of his parents’ house and started living all by himself in Delhi. To be able to pay his bills, he started hunting for jobs in every possible sector from design houses to call centres. And when the HRs showed more interest in his disability than his CV, he kept himself busy with freelance projects. While the struggle was getting tougher, Saurabh was determined to master his social media skills to show life that he's not done trying. He’s now a social media expert but sadly his legs have began shrinking and he’s completely restricted to his house - he can’t even use a calliper or crutches unlike before. He hasn’t seen light of the day in the past 3 years.
After looking out for Saurabh for quite sometime, Meher decided to share his inspirational story with the world, “I have been supporting Saurabh as a friend personally and professionally for 10 years now and I really thought his story needed to get out.”, says Meher on being asked what motivated her to use online crowdfunding.
Meher started a fundraiser to buy Saurabh an electric wheelchair on Ketto so he can get out of his house, meet people and get more social media projects. But that’s not where she stopped - she decided to promote the fundraiser everywhere so it hits its goal, “We created a video that does justice to Saurabh’s story - that really boosted the fundraiser. Funds were rolling in much faster after we uploaded the video. It helped us to reach out to celebrities like Raftaar who have generously contributed. Additionally, we also used whatsapp, broadcasted messages and spread the message in our community of dancers. We also sent personal Facebook inbox messages to new contacts on a daily basis and to various polio related forums, groups and pages to get their support.”, says Meher while speaking about the various platforms she explored.
It’s no wonder that Meher’s fundraiser got over 6000 shares on Facebook and support from 150 people over the internet. “We really started the fundraiser with no expectation and ended up getting support from 150 people who wanted to do something good to make the world a more beautiful place for a fellow human. Now that's something! When contributions started coming in the first 2-3 days we said now we're taking this all the way, we're going to make it happen.”
A total of Rs. 4,00,086 has been raised for Saurabh’s electric wheelchair and in a couple of weeks a representative from the wheelchair company is going to demonstrate all the functions of the wheelchair so Saurabh can get started with his brand new life as a Social Media Consultant.
That’s the thing about crowdfunding - it empowers people to change lives and fuel dreams. So if you know someone whose willpower and determination deserves a platform, we’re going to literally be just 9 keys away - just type ketto.org and get started!