Meenakshi Shelar has been hospitalized with an infection in her brain. She has lain in her hospital room since New Year’s Day this year, and her illness has gotten progressively worse. There are clots in her brain ventricles, which are interfering with the flow of blood to her brain, and therefore with her everyday life sustaining bodily functions. Meenakshi is weak and often unconscious, falling back into her senses every few hours and in these spells of wakefulness what she feels is pain. She is also running a high temperature most of the time. Her food consumption happens through pipes attached to her frail body.
At Cardinal Gracias Memorial Hospital, doctors have monitored the prognosis of Meenakshi’s illness and have come up with a solution for how she can return to good health again. This process will not only take a substantial period of time, but will also involve Meenakshi’s taking a lot of expensive medication during this time.
Meenakshi’s small family, consisting of her husband and her two children, have found themselves in a very difficult spot as regards how they will gather enough money together for Meenakshi’s treatment. This will go up to a figure between INR 7 lakhs and INR 8 lakhs, which is an astronomical sum for the family. The Shelars belong to the lower end of the Indian middle-class spectrum, with Meenakshi’s husband working as a driver for wages that are a pittance. Meenakshi’s son Milind has also lost his job because he has had to spend a lot of time at the hospital ministering to his mother’s needs, and to be available for doctor’s consultation sessions, as well as running necessary errands for his distraught sibling and father. The family’s small pool of savings has already been eaten into deeply, and they urgently need a second source of raising treatment funds for Meenakshi.
Milind chanced upon the concept of “Crowdfunding India” while he searched the internet for ways to help finance Meenakshi’s recovery. He started a medical crowdfunding campaign on top crowdfunding India platform Impact Guru’s website, setting a target amount of INR 5 lakhs. Milind shared their story in the fundraiser pitch he wrote, and began sharing the campaign on his social media handles, and already the donations have started flowing in. Nearly INR 1.5 lakhs have been raised with 111 donors contributing to the cause of Meenakshi’s recovery. Not only does the family have a source of financial support to keep the treatment going, but also a sense that the good wishes and love of countless people are behind them.