Ground Report | New Delhi: How crowdfunding helps young; Many young Indian first-generation students from socially and economically backward classes in India have started fundraising campaigns for their education at foreign universities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson for Milaap, the crowdfunding platform where most students are raising funds for their higher education, said Since January 2021 to date, around 9,200 campaigns have been created for educational causes only.
Among thousands of young Indians Ansab is one of the, socially and economically backward class students in India who have started fundraising campaigns for their education at foreign universities. Currently a student at the Muslim University of Aligarh, Ansab earned a Master of Journalism from Goldsmiths, University of London.
“I promise to take this opportunity to report on issues concerning the unrepresented, minorities, oppressed and underprivileged in India and the world,” read his fundraising page on Milaap.
“My father had to listen a lot because of my fundraising, things like him asking for money, why he can’t support me and his personal story regarding our family (I come from a dysfunctional family). My friend had to cut her hair to avoid being identified because she was followed in my hometown and called. Fake accounts were created to defame me, and other fake accounts were created to defame me. So I can speak to you personally if you want, but the reason I decided to end the fundraiser was to let my family and close friends be at peace.” (How crowdfunding helps young)
He added: “I want to be a journalist. I wanted to be a global voice for issues that others rarely or badly raise on international platforms. This course would have made the transition much easier and my work much more impactful. This incident has emptied me, but I still aspire to continue journalism. For all the good people who supported me.”
One of the first people to have reached his goal, Sumeet Samos is an anti-caste rapper, scholar, and activist who has been offered a place at Oxford University to study modern South Asian studies. Almost 28 lakhs were raised to cover tuition fees.
Mohammad Ibrar Arshad comes from a Muslim ghetto in Calcutta. He is a first-generation apprentice in his family. he has been a journalist with a major publication for five years.
Ibrar said that “I started my crowdfunding almost a month ago with a goal of 30 lakh. I still have to get to 50% and I only have 10 days left. But I am being realistic and now I hope to reach Rs 23 lakh, which is the amount of tuition. In the midst of the trolls and teasing, I have been overwhelmed by the positive response I have received from people who have stepped forward to support the effort”. (How crowdfunding helps young)
Harshali Nagrale said that “Despite my grit and my family’s unconditional support, our financial condition continued to pose a challenge in achieving my educational goals”.
Harshali Nagrale says “My degree in Science encouraged a sense of scientific and rational enquiry in me. However, it also allowed me to participate in programs like NSS and work for ‘Science For All’ foundation which gave me an insight into how even in educational spaces structures of oppression, marginalisation continue to be reinforced through everyday practices of administration.