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

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).