Bengaluru: Students raise Rs 35 lakh for senior citizens’ cataract surgeries


 In a one-of-its-kind gesture, the school students in Bengaluru, Karnataka, have raised money to provide for the cataract surgeries of the senior citizens in the city. Rs 35 lakh was collected by the students of class 9, 10 and 11 in just 10 days.

The students of Vidyashilp Academy took to the crowdfunding platform FuealADream to raise the money for 3,580 surgeries. Initially, a target of Rs 22 lakh was set by the students for the elderly citizens of Hoskote, Kolar and Chintamani villages.

 four students raised over Rs one lakh each during the campaign launched on June 18. The class 12 students separately initiated their campaign on June 25 to raise Rs 20,000 each.

The report further said that a Bengaluru-based NGO ‘The Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar’ will subsidise the cataract surgeries from Rs 4,200 to Rs 1,000 for citizens of Hoskote, Kolar and Chintamani villages. The surgeries will be conducted by a charitable organisation, The Global Eye Foundation.

A 16-year-old student Khushi said she was doubtful whether she would be able to raise Rs 20,000, which was her target. Khushi said she was trained by the director of the crowdfunding platform, Ranganath Thota, to launch the campaign. Khushi said she raised the highest amount from 36 donors.

“Little things like starting off with higher donations and being polite and soft while talking to people were effective. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the donations went up quickly,” Khushi told the daily.

Another student Mahika Mizar said that the campaign helped her in using her communication skills in real-life situations. She also said that the best part of the campaign was to know that unknown people donated huge sums of money to help others. She received Rs 10,000 from three donors.

The principal of Vidyashilp Academy praised the students for taking out time for the good cause. She said the students of her school are always associated with social programmes including working with orphanages and underprivileged children. She informed that the students funded one such home where children used to bath with cold water. The students bought solar water heaters by collecting Rs 65,000 and now the children have access to hot water.

With the efforts of the 110 students and contributions by donors, the lives of 3,580 elderly villagers will change forever as they get the gift of the sight.