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.

World Health Day: Let’s Talk about Depression

“Your life is great, what do you have to be so sad about? Why don’t you go out and get some fresh air? You’ll feel better then.”  And they all mean well, but the depression plagues on.

 

World Health Day celebrated every year on April 7th is an international day dedicated to celebrating healthcare and awareness. The World Health Organisation has decided that this year, World Health Day will be themed around depression.

 

So ‘Let’s talk’ about depression!

 

The reason that this World Health Day 2017 campaign is titled ‘Depression: Let’s talk’, is because we don’t talk about it enough. Reasons can be attributed to the stigma around mental disorders. One viable way to combat the stigmatism is by getting a deeper understanding of what depression is, how it affects a sufferer, and the steps one should take to treat it, or even bring it under control. Hopefully, awareness will reduce the tainted impression that people have of the sufferers, and it will foster an ambience where they feel comfortable in talking about it, and consequently address it in a healthy way.

 

We’ve established that depression is not an uncommon disorder, whether it is clinical depression or double depression. So now let’s talk about what depression feels like. It is much deeper than the feeling of extreme sadness that people portray it to be. People who’ve been through it have explained that it makes you feel isolated, sad, and unworthy in your own skin. It is a constant mental battle against hopelessness, self-loathing, guilt, and anxiety. These feelings can be triggered by incidents that most people would otherwise consider trivial. For instance, a friend who is innocently teasing you for “being no fun”, without the slightest clue of the effort it has taken you to get out of bed this morning.

 

The people around you deeply affect how you feel about your condition. On one hand you’ll have people saying that they’re here for you and that you’ll come out of it eventually (even if they mean well), and on the other hand you’ll have someone telling you to quit this “cry for attention”. In both cases, the consequence is suppression of depression. This can lead to a host of other problems, both mentally and physically. Depression increases a person’s risk of substance use disorder, as well as hikes up the risk of diabetes and heart disease. And the worst of all is the ultimate consequence – suicide, which is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.

 

What the Depression: Let’s talkcampaign really aims to affect, is the number of sufferers who not only acknowledge their mental illness, but also seek help to overcome it. Depression is one of the leading illnesses where mental health is concerned. But the real problem arises when people actually suffering the mental disorder are unable to access the treatment that will help them lead a healthy life, one day at a time.

 

When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty,” says Hollywood actress Kristen Bell, in her essay about struggling with depression.

 

Visiting a professional therapist has rescued many from this mental prison. Depending on the degree of depression, some sufferers might be prescribed medication to overcome it. While medication is not a permanent fix, it is surely a step in the right direction, providing the sufferer a possibility of living without the feeling of worthlessness.

 

As for the scenario of mental health in India, the parliament passing the Mental Health Care Bill that was proposed by the Union Health Minister JP Nadda, is a progressive step in acknowledging and beating the stigma around the subject. As per the directives of this bill, every person will have access to mental health care services that are funded by the Government. Additionally, the bill decriminalizes suicide attempts, making it non-punishable. One hopes that the aim is to actually address the problem in the correct way, rather than shame sufferers for having a health problem.

 

If you want to join in on this endeavour by the WHO, the first step begins with people around you. There might be someone you know who is fighting a battle in their head everyday. You can help them get help. If it is the fear of speaking out about it, tell them that they don’t need to feel like this anymore, that there is a way around it.

 

If it is about the financial constraints of getting professional treatment, help them raise funds by starting a crowdfunding campaign and mobilising people to help your loved one get treated. In addition, being aware is the key to solving any problem.

 

You can even start a fundraiser to host an event that spreads awareness about mental disorders like depression and anxiety, and guide people in the right direction for treatment.

 

At Impact Guru, we want to lend a hand to those who need help, and we encourage all of you to do so as well.

 

Start a fundraiser to treat mental disorder. Or click here to watch a video on what crowdfunding is.

 

5 Women whose Social Innovations changed the World

Social innovators in India are making progress against varied social problems such as the lack of high-quality education, limited access to clean water and hygiene, and inadequate nutrition. Some of these social innovators are woman entrepreneurs and are among the most powerful women in India. However, you maybe surprised at how young some woman entrepreneurs are.

On the occasion of Women’s Day, we at Impact Guru are celebrating successful women entrepreneurs whose social innovations have transformed the world we live in.

Learn about crowdfunding for women. And start an online fundraiser today!

 

Shalini Kumari

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Moved by the plight of her grandfather who was unable to use the stairs due to the limitations of his walker, 12 year old Shalini Kumari determinedly set about to rectify the situation.

She came up with the design of a walker with a spring and self-locking front legs. The user has to push the front legs of the walker on the upper stair and the rear legs rest on the lower stair which makes the walker stable and strong enough to hold the weight on it, enabling the user to climb the stairs.

This adjustable walker also has a foldable seat, a horn and a light attached to it. The walker can take up to 100 kg weight and can be adjusted to different environments.

Learn about medical crowdfunding.

 

Shweta Sharma & Jaskiran Goraya

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These two Class 9 students from Jalandhar came up with the idea of putting a layer of liquid that degenerates the covering membrane and spoils the tablet after the expiry date. Shweta came up with the idea after discovering many expired tablets at her house and worrying that she might have consumed one at some point.

Jaskiran saw a TV serial in which an illiterate person gave expired medicines to a patient which worsened his condition. Jaskiran felt that she needed to find a technique to help an illiterate person find out if the medicine has expired or not. So her idea was to make the medicine box/packaging such that it changes colour once it expired.

Have a novel idea? Have you thought about crowdfunding it? Here’s how it works.

Remya Jose

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The pedal-powered washing machine cum exercise machine, featured in the film 3 Idiots, was inspired by the invention of 20-year-old Remya Jose from Kerala, which has also been showcased on the Discovery Channel.

During her 10th standard, her mother fell ill and her father was undergoing medical treatment. Remya had to change three buses while going to and coming from school and spent about two hours each way. As there was no washing machine at home, the chore of doing the laundry fell on her and her twin sister. Instead of wishing futilely for a washing machine, she decided to try her hand at making one during her vacations!

4 Reasons why good storytelling is imperative to your fundraiser’s success.

 

Ajaita Shah

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Ajaita Shah spent the past eight years working in microfinance and clean energy distribution in India. Born in Scarsdale, New York, to Indian parents, Shah now lives in India full time.

She founded Frontier Markets in 2010 to provide more than 300 rural Indian villages with access to clean energy products, as well as training and services for those products. In lieu of a grid that creates equitable power distribution, she’s promoting the benefits of solar energy and making it easily available to people.

The achievement of these social innovators demonstrates the power of educated women. If we empower more women with education and opportunity, the list of their innovations is only likely to increase. In turn, these innovations could be key to finding solutions to problematic issues in India.

Learn how crowdfunding on crowdfunding platform Impact Guru can help fulfill yours or others’ educational dreams.