KOCHI: 16-month-old Prarthana can now lead a better life, thanks to her recent liver transplantation. Milaap, an online crowdfunding platform, has enabled the life-changing surgery, by helping her parents raise the amount required. It was after two months of Prarthana’s birth that her parents realised that she was suffering from a serious liver condition.
“Around Rs 15 lakh was the cost of the surgery, as assessed by doctors at a private hospital in Ernakulam. We could not even dream of raising such an amount, that too quickly, but we had to save our only daughter,” said 26-year-old Akhil, who works as a bus conductor. It was through the hospital authorities that Milaap found Prarthana’s case. A sum of Rs 4.8 lakh was raised through crowdfunding by Milaap, which came as a breather for Akhil and his family. “For the past 10 years, we have been raising funds for personal and social causes in the country. In Kerala, most of the funds are raised for various emergency medical needs. Therefore, we have tie-ups with nearly 100 hospitals in the state and that is how we came to know about Prarthana’s case. We were only happy to assist the family in raising funds for their daughter’s liver transplantation,” said Anoj Viswanathan, president and co-founder of Milaap.
Prarthana’s surgery took place in March this year at Aster Medcity. “Now she is back to normal life and we are happy and relieved that our daughter is hale and hearty,” said Akhil.In Kerala, nearly 2,200 individuals have benefitted from Milaap and around Rs 11.5 crores has been raised from the state so far, said Anoj. Milaap has helped several others from different parts of the country, who were struggling to raise hefty funds for treatments. Athulya, a 10-year-old girl from Thrissur, got help from more than 800 donors for her eye cancer treatment.
“In another successful example of online crowdfunding from Thiruvananthapuram, close to Rs 3.5 lakh was raised for 12-year-old Allen Sheron’s spinal cord surgery, without which the boy would have been paralysed for life,” said Mubeen Mohammed, team member of Milaap. “Crowdfunding is not an alien concept for Kerala. Through Milaap, we have raised close to a sum of Rs 2 crore just for flood relief activities. Setting up an online fundraiser is a process of fewer than 5 minutes and does not require a lot of technical know-how. Campaigns can be set up using Whatsapp, other instant messaging apps and even without typing, by recording their story in any of the eight available Indian languages. Milaap has raised over 650 crores for such causes from across India.