If there is a word worthy to highlight, especially at a time of global pandemic- a word that helped to restore faith in humanity – it is the word ‘generosity’. It is evident from the overwhelming response to the fundraisers that when people are most in need, that’s when most of the giving happens. The India Giving Report 2021 finds that individual donations in India went up by 43 percent which was primarily driven by the tailwinds of the pandemic.
The pandemic has not been able to stop people from spreading positivity and giving us real hope as we strive to bring an end to the pandemic. Their generosity of spirit, compassion and kindness relieved the suffering brought on by COVID-19. 2021 has been a watershed year at Milaap with unprecedented growth in donations, users, and fundraisers. The data on how people contributed in 2021 may surprise you. While Bengaluru continues to remain as the most generous city, followed by Delhi NCR and Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar and Jaipur also make it to top 10 generous cities this year.
2021: The Year of Generosity
Most recently, in the context of the pandemic, we witnessed more and more individuals coming together in the spirit of solidarity and engaging in mutual support to protect the most vulnerable in their community and beyond. Amidst the all-pervasive gloom and pessimism during the pandemic, the airlifting of Anjaney Vatsal, father of a 4-year-old girl has thrown up an example of community bonding and camaraderie. A ray of hope beamed on the face of Anjaney’s family when the airlifting team arrived in Patna to shift to Hyderabad.
The family had lost hope when they came to know that the ECMO treatment and lungs transplant would cost not less than Rs. 2.5 crore. With no options left, his family started a fundraiser on Milaap. The appeal immediately connected people across the country. Within a day’s time INR 2.34 crore was raised with the generous contributions of over 8000 donors.
“We started a campaign on Milaap to raise funds for my husband’s treatment. By the grace of God, the campaign went viral and we were able to reach the targeted amount within a span of 24 hrs. This was such a huge relief for us and we can’t thank the community enough for coming together for us. Money was the last thing that we had to worry about and we were able to get the best treatment for him. With all this massive support, both financially and morally, Anjaney was able to fight this deadly disease. By God’s grace, he is doing well and on the path towards recovery,” Richa, wife of Anjaney.
“With 0% platform fee, we ensured maximum benefits to the users. A set of creatives suitable for Instagram stories, Facebook cover pages were uploaded on the campaign page with QR codes to donate. In addition, a task force was set up that provided round-the-clock support to users. The team worked with a single focus to ensure the withdrawal and verification processes were happening as efficiently as they used to, but at a much faster rate considering the impending emergency,” says Anoj Viswanathan, Co-founder Milaap.
Just as the pandemic is unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes, the responses to it are also different, more creative and resourceful. Artistes, and art in general, did what they have always done – remind us that we are in this together. Utilizing art as a face, artists across the country crowdfunded on Milaap to support various causes. Chennai-based artiste Tenma, singer Gana Muthu and arts development consultant Shreya Nagarajan started a fundraiser to support folk artistes across southern districts. A coffee tasting workshop and an auction of heirloom sarees was hosted to further fund the cause.
“At the peak of the second wave we knew we had to stand united and raise funds for disadvantaged artists. This was no easy feat but having a platform like Milaap with over a decade of experience helped tremendously. Thanks to their team we were able to raise appx 25 lakhs to support artists in need. We tried our best to focus on getting them through the second wave so they might prepare for a post-COVID future,” Shreya Nagarajan Singh, Chennai.
India has always had a long and rich culture of individual giving and the digital landscape signifies a tremendous growth. As the pandemic brought adversities, it also saw an outpouring of generosity, with more people contributing to causes than before. COVID-19 has shown us that generosity is a seed which is inherent in the human heart and is only set to grow in the coming days.