In India, in the last decade alone, there have been 5 million cases of accidents which have rendered people limbless, as per a 2014 report by the SaveLIFE Foundation. This means one person goes limbless every minute. A majority of these people cannot do anything to make their lives better and are left to a fate worse than death in a country that has a deep prejudice against what it considered imperfect.

A person may lose a limb due to a disability they were born with or developed over time. Most forget that the disabled person is worthy of living a life with dignity as well. Another major reason why people lose limbs is in the service of the armed forces. All their needs are usually covered by the government’s disability program, but often for the personnel of lower ranks from the poorer regions of the country who are made to let go of service because of their loss of limb, it is very hard.

There is absolutely no psychological support for those dealing with the loss of limbs, especially those from the poor families. Losing limbs in an ableist culture often hits people psychologically, especially young people. Children often do not understand why they are treated differently from their peers, and it leaves a deep impact on their formative years. Many commit suicide. Marriage and job prospects too are really grim once someone loses a limb. There is almost no mechanism to help the victims cope with all this, especially in the socially deprived classes.

So what do you do in order to deal with the absence of limbs? Any rich society would have gone for prosthetic limbs. Prosthesis is the device that replaces a limb lost due to anything ranging from injury to disease. It has become quite popular in rich societies. But India is a poor country, and that makes the average Indian difficult to access prosthetic limbs, the cheapest of which are at Rs 60,000 and the best and the most efficient can go up to Rs 15 lakhs.

This is where crowdfunding becomes especially relevant in a country like India. Crowd funding in Indiaenables people across all social classes with access to the internet to contribute to any cause they believe in. Because there is no specific demand upon the resources of the individual donor, one can pitch in any amount they are comfortable with. Crowdfunding is a great as it lets the more privileged to help those with fewer resources, as in the case of buying prosthetics.

Here are the things one needs to keep in mind while going out for a crowdfunding campaign for prosthetic limb.

  • The cost of prosthetic limbs depends on the type of prosthetic limb that one would be using and the area of the body that would be covered.
  •  For prosthetic limbs, 3-D scanning software is needed which would be scanning the limb residues. This and the building of the limb need most of the money and for this, people with the proper know-how are needed.
  • Before proceeding with the campaign, you need to make sure that everyone from the technicians to the campaign organizers is on the same page regarding how much they would expect from the share of the crowdfunding campaign.
  • There is the absolute need to build trust with the potential donors. This can be done by showing how their donations would be used. For this, it is always better to have a website or a webpage dedicated to the project of making the potential donors understand the importance and the impact of the prosthetic limbs on the lives of the recipients.

So how do you actually go about crowdfunding once you are on with it?

  • It is always a good idea to team up with a non-profit in such cases. Your vision along with the non-profit’s expertise and experience would go a long way in ensuring that the most number of people are benefitted.
  • You set up a crowdfunding profile in the best crowdfunding platforms in India for the best visibility. The reputation of the crowdfunding websites would also enable potential donors to trust you with their money.
  • If you are an individual who has taken on to this, you need the proper know-how, and most importantly, you need to start really small. Try to make the recipients as human as possible in your fundraising profile so that their plight can make them connect with the potential donors without them losing their dignity.

With all these things in mind, it should not be very difficult for you. India is a country that is generous with medical donations, and many campaigns for providing the rural poor with prosthetic limbs have achieved remarkable success, and anyone venturing into this can take inspiration from these motivated children.

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