This 34-year-old’s entire life changed in a moment…

A young, happy Shobana, who like many of us led a normal life, working at a bank and taking care of her widowed mother, was left bedridden and unable to speak after one incident changed her life forever.

Perhaps, no one in Shobana’s family would forget the night of 1 October 2015, when they suddenly had to rush Shobana to the hospital and watch an energetic 34-year old lie immobile for 4 months in a hospital ward and go through two major brain surgeries.

Shobana grew up with her mother and her elder sister Sukanya in a humble house-hold. Their father passed away when they were very young but their mother somehow managed to educate them. Shobana received her MBA and went on to work and support her family. Everything was alright, until one night as Shobana was returning home from work in an autorickshaw, two men  tried to snatch her purse.The intensity of the pull threw Shobana out of the rickshaw on the road and left her seriously injured. She was immediately admitted to Nanavati hospital where she underwent two major brain surgeries and was treated for almost 4 months. The injuries caused problems in her cognitive development, hampered her mobility and left her bedridden. Shobana couldn’t move or talk.

These were not ordinary circumstances. The family’s income could barely support the heavy treatment cost of Shobana and the long period of treatment ensured that the bills kept piling up. Shobana’s life wasn’t easy too. Her movements were limited as she couldn’t walk, eat and even had trouble speaking.

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But Shobana is a fighter. Today, a year and a half later, she continues to fight the odds and is slowly getting better each day. Her sister Sukanya, who has been fighting alongside Shobana the entire time, is gathering all the support she can from friends, family and others to aid Shobana’s recovery.

Shobana is being treated at home now. She needs constant care but due to financial constraints her family can afford a day nurse only for a limited period of time. Her daily physiotherapy and speech sessions are on too. According to her sister, her limb movements are getting better, she sometimes speaks a few words, she is trying to eat on her own and is even attempting to write with her left hand.

The family is hopeful for Shobana’s recovery. However, keeping up with the daily cost of her treatment is becoming difficult. Her sister, Sukanya is raising funds online on Impact Guru to help her and has so far raised around 6 lakh rupees. Their current expense per month is around 1.5 lakh rupees.They are going to need all the help they can get to complete Shobana’s treatment till she gets better.

You can help them by donating or sharing the fundraiser, here.

Rs. 8,15,915 in 60 days! The Successful Crowdfunding Story of Harish Rohra

Harish, who was new to crowdfunding, raised more than 8 lakh from friends and supporters to fund his kidney treatment on Impact Guru. Here is a first-hand account of how he did it.

“I fell upon difficult times in my life when both my kidneys failed me. The medical bills piled up and my health stopped me from going to work. My life became filled with uncertainty and anxiety. I didn’t have money for my transplant but gradually my family and I collected almost enough. Just when I thought life was resuming normalcy, disaster struck. My daughter, Parvati, was diagnosed with a genetic condition that was affecting her vital organs. Major surgery was required. We acted quickly to rescue my daughter, like any responsible family would. But we were back to square one in terms of funding my own treatment.   

One day while browsing Facebook, I stumbled upon Impact Guru – a fundraising platform. The concept of online fundraising was new and unfamiliar to me. But I had nothing to lose and decided to give fundraising a chance. My family doubted if fundraising would generate funds. They didn’t believe in the possibility of acquaintances and strangers funding my medical treatment and the fact that donors would have to donate online to help me, made them even more skeptical.

I wrote an emotional appeal to potential donors, describing the events in my life honestly and provided a letter from my doctor stating my medical condition clearly. My brother also took photos of me as I was going through dialysis treatment and uploaded them on my fundraiser page. The Impact Guru team helped me put my story up in a better manner and post that, my fundraiser was live and ready to receive donations.

I shared my fundraiser on Facebook and my family did the same. I had not been socializing much due to the various turmoils in my life. But Facebook helped connect me to my old friends, classmates and acquaintances. When they heard of my serious condition, they came forward to help immediately. Not only did all of them donate to my fundraiser but they also shared it with their networks and asked for donations on my behalf. With tremendous support from my family, friends and their friends, donations began coming in rapidly including from overseas; much to my surprise. Within 35 days, I reached my target of Rs. 8.15 Lakhs.

After the completion of my fundraiser, Impact Guru disbursed my funds within 2 working days. I am yet to find a kidney match but my family and me have been relieved of our major mental stress- money.

Honestly, this would not have been possible without Impact Guru’s platform and their dedicated customer support who guided me through every step of my fundraising journey.

My family has turned from doubters to believers and recommend Impact Guru to anyone who is in a predicament similar to the one I was in.”

Take a look at Harish’s fundraiser. If you too are facing a medical emergency and want to start a fundraiser, click here or email us at info@impactguru.com

3 Things To Watch Out For While Donating To NGOs

Donating towards a good cause can be the most rewarding feeling, isn’t it? But sometimes we tend to get carried away by the idea of doing charity, and rush into the process without checking some crucial details about the organization/ NGO/ nonprofit we’re donating to. For instance, if the NGO is not genuine, then your hard-earned money that you parted with for a good cause, may not actually reach the beneficiaries they were meant to.

In order to be sure that your funds will be directed towards the growth and upliftment of society, here are three things you could check for, before transferring money to an NGO:

 

Is the NGO registered?

Since NGOs are private institutions, it is not necessary for them to register themselves to conduct charitable work. However, there are certain benefits of registering under the country’s specific acts and laws. For instance, registered NGOs are eligible to obtain a legal status, seek assistance from government agencies, contract funds and support from the relevant departments, tax exemption from certain incomes, training opportunities, technical assistance, and concessions when obtaining vehicles, equipment and commodities. Moreover, NGOs in India that register under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Registration Act), are even eligible to get donations from a foreign source, which is a huge step for the financial stability of any nonprofit. Keeping in mind the benefits of foreign funding to Indian NGOs, crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru, that are affiliated with notable international donors like Global Giving, are able to help registered NGOs raise larger sums through NRI donations.

 

Will you be eligible for a tax benefit?

Did you know that Government of India provides tax saving benefits to donors, to encourage more people to contribute towards good causes that benefit society? The Income Tax Department allows an individual donor to claim up to 100% tax exemption under Section 80G, on the amount donated to verified charities and NGOs. It’s a great opportunity for you to plan your annual giving strategy in a way that will not only benefit others but also yourself! In fact, even NRIs who donate towards Indian NGOs are eligible to get tax benefits from their own country, if they donate via crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru.

 

Is your method of payment safe?

In the past, a lot of NGOs have been caught in money laundering scams, where donor funds were not being used for the right social cause. Every donor should check for the nonprofit’s accountability and transparency, as well as their past accomplishments and financial stability over the years. It is always safer to avoid donating in cash, and instead opting for written cheques, or even better, online payments. In fact, a lot of donors now prefer supporting causes through crowdfunding websites like Impact Guru, where they conduct a due diligence and verification process for anyone raising funds through them. Moreover, they offer safe and reliable payment methods to the donors, who can be sure that the funds will reach the right cause.

 

In conclusion, it is great to support causes that are close to your heart, but if your money doesn’t reach the right people, your contribution and deeds of kindness might be futile. Checking an NGO’s authenticity by logging onto their website or social media pages will only take a few minutes to ensure that your funds are put to good use. If you see the progress an NGO has made, you can even consider being an annual donor for them. Moreover, getting involved in social work needn’t mean just giving money; time, skills, and volunteering holds as much value as donations!