Skip to main content

Crowdfunding, a way to earn fast buck on the net, catches up among IT savvy Gujarati middle class youth

By Satyakam Mehta
Crowdfunding, an internet-based practice of collecting money for small projects or ventures by raising small amounts from large number of individuals, is picking up as a craze in Gujarat’s penny-wise IT savvy youngsters. While many consider it as a way to earn a fast buck, one just needs to upload a project idea on a crowdfunding website, explain its concept, specify the funding you require, and just wait for individuals to transfer money to your bank account.
Take the case of Karan Pujara, son of a modest paan shop owner in Bhuj, district capital of Kutch, Gujarat, who at the tender age of 15 decided to do it after taking up a diploma course from a reputed institute. Soon, he realized he didn’t have the resources to buy expensive books. Bent upon wanting to buy books, which he preferred over going using library, he developed an online portal, studentdesk.in to buy, sell, rent and exchange books and magazines.
He got his portal project launched on a Gujarat-based crowdfunding platform, start51.com, and managed to get a funding of Rs 64,000, which he considers “generous”, though his target of Rs 1 lakh seemed pretty far away. Pujara tells Counterview, his portal aims to “help” readers by facilitating them with easy and free exchange of books, magazines and study material.
Students, he believes, can find used books from college or from their area using location-based tracking of books. He adds, "We want to build a community of readers by reaching to all libraries and school and colleges so that readers will have a wide range of reading material. We are also planning a mobile application of studentdesk.in for different platforms."
He is one of the many in Gujarat, who have “managed” to get financial help from this crowdfunding platform. In fact, those who control the site claim, there are eight out-of-the-box Gujarat-based projects which have got funded through Start 51. One of them is Ateet Bajaj, who was into chemicals and textiles business and is now the mover of the crowdfunding platform.
Bajaj told Counterview, "When I wished to start my own business, I had the support of my family. But it occurred to me that many youngsters often don’t have the resources to convert their dreams into reality for want of funds. That’s how I launched the crowdfunding portal.”
He points out, "Several innovative ideas need just about Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.” Bajaj says he started with the support of the Gujarat Technical University, but Start51 has not earned anything from the project. “The worldwide formula is that crowdfunding platforms get five per cent of the funding received by contributors, but we have not taken anything from the start-ups. We are backing them at the moment.”
Another project getting funding is of 22-year-old M.Tech. student Kinjal Chaudhari, who has developed an android application called Sign Speaks that helps interact even if you don’t have the knowledge of sign language.
According to Bajaj, “It is an interpreting app; a combination of verbal language as audio, Indian sign language as video and text. This mobile app has combination of verbal and Indian sign language such that by choosing what to say, one can express oneself without knowing another language. This makes communication possible for hearing and speaking impaired people in their own sign language.
Then there is Jayrajsinh Chavda, all of 24. His music documentary, “The Connoisseur's Journal” showcases evolution of music and culture in Ahmedabad. It tells us the story of regional artistes from theatre, arts and music background of Ahmedabad.
The documentary contains an elaborate collection of video footage from different music genres like rock, metal, pop, jazz, blues, Hindustani classical, traditional and Sufi, which have been performed in Ahmedabad since 2010. It also has rare footage from veteran musicians dating back to 1980s. The documentary, which is expected to be released in November, has got moderate funding though his requirement is some Rs 2 lakh.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.