Chennai: Country’s first 100 per cent free online crowd funding site, Edudharma, founded four months back by young engineers in Coimbatore, has managed to fund 110 students after raising Rs 22 lakh in the last four months.
The website and its app help raising funds for students from underprivileged families for their education or for participating in international sports events.
“This is a not-for-profit initiative to crowd fund money for those who are not privileged enough to afford good opportunities that come their way,” said Dinesh Manickam, co-founder of the website. “Apart from the website, an app is available on Android and iOS platforms.”
Founded by young engineers, the site campaigns for any student in need of funding for education or opportunities, in fields like sports, innovation, or for social activities. The team then verifies the documents that are submitted along with the campaign and then it goes live.
Unlike other crowd funding websites, Dinesh said, Edudharma doesn’t charge transaction or service charges. “We get inputs on people through colleges and several NGOs who are working with us. We would like to reach out to as many people as we can. We are in touch with many colleges to know about differently-abled students who need financial assistance,” said N Balaji, co-founder of the site.
The latest among those benefited by crowd funding was a sportsman who won a Gold medal in the Global Silambam Championship 2017 at Malaysia.
Goutham Jayaraman, a graduate in B.Com. and a champion at Silambam, did not have sufficient funds to take part in the competition, and through a friend, he reached out to an NGO and Edudharma.
“Through crowd funding, I received Rs 40,000, which fulfilled my dream to represent India at the championship. I won a gold medal in the senior category,” said Goutham, who is basking in the happiness of the victory and plans to meet the Chief Minister seeking encouragement and support for the sport. As part of their future plans, Edudharma plans to help out more differently-abled students as they face a break in their education.