Corwdfunding The Dream Of A Poor To Educate Himself:
Eighteen year old Ajay Kumar, a resident of Sahupar village in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh, wanted to pursue engineering. He passed as many as six entrance examinations, including UPTU (Uttar Prades h Technical University), but his family could not afford the fees. Kumar was the only hope for his family after his father, a stonecutter by profession, was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which impaired his ability to contribute to the household income. Determined to pursue his dreams, Kumar approached two government banks for an education loan but was denied by both because of his family’s poor financial status. When retired colonel K.C. Mishra, who works in the village as a social worker and counselor, heard a bout Kumar’s distress, he approached Yuva Vikas Samiti, a local nongovernment organization. Brihaspati Kumar Pandey, the secretary of Yuva Vikas Samiti, who has attended several workshops that Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) organized in Uttar Pradesh on the use of social media, decided to reach out to his friends and followers on all the social media platforms that he was using—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp—to seek funds for Kumar’s education. Brihaspati Kumar Pandey posted a message on Kumar’s plight and within hours, contributions started pouring in. In about two days, Pandey managed to raise Rs3 lakh. Today, Kumar is pursuing engineering at Buddha Institute of Technology in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, thanks to the successful crowdfunding campaign.