Can you restore 8-year-old Elsa’s hope to survive?

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8-year-old Elsa Farooqui’s journey is set by destiny.

When she was barely four years of age, she was troubled by a soaring high fever. Her parents were knocking the doors of many local doctors and hospitals but everything proved futile.

After a series of tests and investigations, a biopsy detected it as Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). When she turned six, her kidneys collapsed. Peritoneal dialysis was recommended and after a period of time a high- grade fever surfaced.

Chase began for cure. Arriving at India’s most reputed hospital, the parents Akif and Taiba thought Elsa was finally in safe hands.

It was 8th Dec 2012, when the hospital admitted Elsa in a very critical and delicate condition.  She had fever and she was looking pale. She had severe pallor, orsnasal and vaginal bleeding. Laparotomy had multiple adhesions, with pus collections. Discovered – Free Fluid in Liver – multiple scars in abdomen.Many peritoneal collections were found; fever raged unabated. Suspected sepsis, was investigated.

Persistent fever even on strong antibiotics with added antifungal, ;emergency conditions persisted, leading to respiratory distress. Next step, she was connected to a ventilator. Elsa’s kidney functions were maintained by hemodialysis.

But fate was rude to little Elsa. Due to long periods on ventilator her vocal cord crashed. On 4th Feb 2013 Elsa left the hospital, without the ability to speak.

During this period Taiba discovered she was pregnant. One cannot begin to understand the plight of Akif. How did he manage his family through such a dark period! Taiba was shattered. Touching her growing belly, she worried endlessly, “A child battling for life and another one growing in my womb, what will happen to my family?”.

Akif Farooqui serves an NGO that offers lighting to India’s villages around the area. Between traveling to see villagers feel safe with well-lit roads, he managed his daughter’s dialysis schedules. All his income is being exhausted on medical treatment and he is surviving on loans.

Banks have smilingly said, “Sorry, no more…”

When Akif sees Elsa, cheerful, smile through dialysis, he knows she places full faith on his shoulders. “Papa will save me,” is what Elsa believes.

Can we all contribute and see she survives to actually tell us what she feels? Can you?

Save Elsa: http://bit.ly/elsakidneyfund

I knew the kind of film I wanted to make, it was difficult to find producers: Pushpendra Singh

indexPushpendra Singh is a well known name among those to do with independent films in India. An alumnus of the Film And Television Institute of India, Pune, he started his career as an actor playing one of the leads in Amit Dutta’s Venice award winning film ‘Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya’. He has also acted in the German feature ‘Asta Upset’ directed by Maximilian Linz, which was selected at the 64th Berlin Film Festival, and in theatre with Barry John on his Honey Trilogy. Taking up another aspect of film making, Pushpendra assisted Amit Dutta on his feature ‘Nainsukh’ and the ‘Sattvi Sair- The seventh walk’. Learning from the experiences, he set out to make his own film – Lajwanti. A pretty much one man show, the film was to be written, produced and directed by him alone. The film was shot on a shoe string budget with funds chipped in by friends and family.
All was well, until he realised he was falling short of funds for the post production of the film. It was then he decided to crowdfund the money. He came to Catapooolt and we took the campaign on board. The campaign raised INR 2,65,347.

Catapooolt talks to Pushpendra on his experience of crowdfunding.

1. Why did you chose to crowdfund for your first film?
I knew the kind of film I wanted to make it was difficult to find producers. I also wanted total creative freedom while making it so crowdfunding was the best option to secure funds for the film.

2. Why Catapooolt?
Satish Kataria had met me at FILM BAZAAR, Goa and I was attracted to his honesty and professionalism. Also, no other Indian crowdfunding platform had provisions of allowing foreign contributions except Catapooolt.

3. How did you prepare for the campaign? What was the home work required?
I did my research on crowdfunding and realized that it needs a strategic planning and constant campaign to attract contributors. Social media is the greatest platform to run your campaign. Having an honest pitch video and a blog with detailed information on the project helps a lot. I worked on all these aspects.

4. How did you promote the campaign?
I formed a core team of campaigners who took leads from me and created a facebook page of my film. Visibility on a constant basis matters a lot for your campaign so we first started by sharing the pitch video and later on news about the project. We gave ourselves small goals and targets. We thanked all our contributors and updated our targets regularly on social media.

5. What were the challenges you faced while promoting the campaign?
My film got selected for the Berlin Film Festival in beginning of the campaign and I got busy in the post production of the film to complete it on time for the festival. I had little time for the campaign then.

6. You were already a well known face in the indie circuit due to the acting stints. Do you think this factor helped in the success of the campaign?
It did help in some way. But what I realized is that despite everything one has to reach to people and that was the real task.

7. What was the most important learning from the crowdfunding experience?
It was overwhelming. It reiterated my belief that people are there to help and if you are honest, you just have to reach to them.

8. Does the Indian audience understand crowdfunding today?
I think they understand crowdfunding in the traditional sense. We all have been contributing money for small events, charity, temples etc. But when it comes to arts and projects related to it, they cannot understand why one needs to contribute for that. It also comes from lack of appreciation of arts in the society.

9. Does the pitch video and the rewards contribute to the success of the campaign?
Definitely. You never know when your pitch video can go viral and attract funders.

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Funding a project gives you nightmares: Here are 5 simple ways how you can crowd-fund your idea

Gradually, but consistently crowd-funding is gaining popularity in the Asian continent. According to Massolution Global Crowd-funding Industry Report 2014-15, while North America continues to lead the market – Asia seems to be catching up fast – almost registering 320% growth over last year and raising USD 3.40 Billion.

These big numbers aside, how can one know that their campaign has been optimized for success? Does it depend entirely on the platform to do the work or is it the campaign owner’s responsibility to take the project to its target.

Here are some simple but important insights that can make or break your dream project.

1. Prepare your face off– Ask yourself, “Are You Ready”. The answer to this question is very simple, either Yes or No. Lying to yourself will do no good. There is no point running a half-baked project just because you are shy of doing the hard work.

2. Strategic Social Media– Just because it’s free you don’t have to make your presence felt everywhere. Don’t be like an uninvited guest who ruins the party. You must know where your target audience hangs out. Customize your marketing strategy according to the various platforms.

3. Produce a great video– Be truthful to yourself and your audience. An honest and heartfelt video will reach out to more people and help them connect with your dream and even realize it.

4. Communicate often and keep it personal– Keep in touch with people who believe in you and have shown support. Regular updates, whether good or bad will help building trust among your backers.

5. Reach out to your existing fans– While keeping in mind that you have to connect with as many people as you can don’t forget to appeal to your existing audience. They are the ones who would promote and evangelize your dreams.

Let them walk in your shoes!

blog creativeMost inventions come from basic ideas. Innovations take place when we think hard and ask questions such as: Is the present situation ideal? Have I tried my best and can it be made better? to answer these questions we started our project, Greensole.

Till the December of 2013, me and my business partner Ramesh used to discard 3-4 pairs of sports shoes each year due to excessive usage. We felt really bad when we were throwing away such expensive shoes, which somewhere deep down we knew could be used for some other purpose. We thought hard and experimented for months on those torn shoes to finally figure that we could convert them into comfortable footwear.

Initially we utilized the slippers for our personal use but after making several improvements to the product we found out that the slippers thus made not just are low cost but also have the advantage of an added cushion and superior road grip.

We also researched extensively and found to our surprise that, every year 350 million pairs of non-biodegradable sports shoes are thrown away as they are no longer fit to use. While 1.2 billion people wake up every day without having any kind of footwear whatsoever.

Since then there has been no looking back and we are now consumed by our vision to provide footwear to the neediest throughout the World. By 2023 we will make sure that no needy remains bare feet but we cannot do this without your support and thus we have tied up with Catapooolt to crowdfund our initiative.  We look forward to your generous support. We are proud to say we have received two industrial design patents for their product.

Your old shoes can become a pair of new slippers for the needy.

Come, be a part of the Greensole initiative: http://bit.ly/greensolefortheneedy

Crowdsourcing Inspiration to help #PowerYourBelief

The world of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing mandates both project-owners and crowd investors to develop qualities, those that will help them see mutual-benefit in helping out each other and together becoming part of the larger community that can change the world for the better.

The kind of qualities often discussed, not just in the crowdfunding community, but also among other innovation-led spaces and forward-thinking organisations are the need to be more communicative, transparent, collaborative, giving, willing to try the new and not to forget the ability to build an emotional connect with audiences.

(Also Read: Know How Asking Can Lead you to Success by Satish Kataria)

Here we take a look at some of the quotes that make sense for the crowdsourcing generation:

CS1Crowdfunding is itself disruptive in the way startups and ideas raise funds for their projects. Through this medium one can gain much more support and create more avenues to engage with customers.

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Project-owners and crowd investors first need to understand what drives them to support something. Why does it make sense to support a cause and be part of a new movement? Once that’s clear, there will be clarity in action as well.

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Planning is essential for a crowdfunding campaign, one needs to pursue those many steps to see the light of the day of one’s dreams. As they say, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’.

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Another major benefit of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing is the number of ideas and inspiration one may came across by just being out there communicating and collaborating. Also the feedback one receives can be of high-value since they come from potential users.

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In a 60 or 90 day outreach effort, one may encounter several challenges – from plans not meeting expectations to the lack of support from one’s trusted network. This is where one’s true grit and creativity can come to the fore.

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Often too much of talking and unsolicited ‘advice’ may be just that. So let’s get acting and help power many more beliefs.
In the coming days we shall be sharing more such crowdsourced quotes. Do keep an eye for them on Facebook.

Crowdsource Your Way to Success with Catapooolt

Over the last one year you have learnt and experienced crowdfunding with us, having witness over 35+ projects and 75+ lakhs raised from 1000s of contributors. During the course, we at Catapooolt have realised that our exciting partners and communities can offer you much more than just funding and so we now offer you the power of crowdsourcing too!
Here’s how Catapooolt crowdsourcing works:

Experience the power of crowdsourcing now!

Use Our Group Contribution Feature To Contribute With Friends

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Crowd-funding creates magic and we have witnessed how it translates to positively affecting many lives in a number of ways. We champion the cause and the spirit of campaign organizers but it all comes in place with the funders and their willingness to contribute and bring about a change.

It is their passion to contribute and the way they rally along their peers that bring about the change with the completion of the relevant projects.

In order to make this process of bringing together your friends and family where you spearhead contributions in the group extremely easy, we are launching ‘Sub-Campaigns’ in an exclusive tie-up with MyPoolin where you can click on “Contribute with Friends” button on campaign product page and easily invite your friends for a target amount you wish to raise with them for the cause. Whatever amount is collected, it gets contributed to the main campaign and you can track the funders as well as the amount collected on the page for the sub-campaign created by you.

Many relate to this “Campaign within a Campaign” with the movie ‘Inception’!

There are multiple campaigns where you would like to contribute and most of the time; you also know friends or acquaintances who would be excited by the same as well. This powerful tool leads to fast intimation and collection of funds from multiple funders helping you come together with your friends and create an impact collaboratively. The best part is that even if you don’t achieve the target of your sub-campaign, still you can continue and contribute whatever amount has been collected up to that stage.

Cheers to making those amazing things happen for all the people who believe.