8-year-old’s ailing heart received love from hundreds across the globe

By: Rukmini Chopra

Published On: June 01, 2018

Amount raised: Rs. 26,68,432 

Number of donors: 736

Seeing a child suffer is the most brutal experience a parent can go through. Kuldeep Shahane spent sleepless nights, worried about his daughters health. But thanks to crowdfunding, his baby girl is out of danger!

8-year-old Ahanti, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and doctors told her family that she would need an urgent heart transplant surgery. The cost of the same was Rs. 25 lakh, an exorbitant amount that Ahanti’s middle-class parents couldn’t afford.

They turned to crowdfunding for help and started a fundraiser for the required amount. Ahanti’s father Kuldeep says that he was “reluctant” about starting a fundraiser initially. “I didn’t know anything about crowdfunding and I wasn’t sure how our fundraiser would perform. But when I saw the results I could hardly believe it.” 

And sure enough, Kuldeep’s fundraiser performed exceedingly well and surpassed the goal amount by raising Rs. 26 lakh through 736 donors! 

With the funds collected, Kuldeep was able to pay off the pending medical bills and get his daughter home. Today, Ahanti’s condition is stable and she is waiting for a donor match for her heart transplant surgery. 

How Kuldeep reached the target amount 

Whatsapp shares: “I made it a point to share the fundraiser with all my Whatsapp contacts,” says Kuldeep, adding, “These contacts then shared our fundraiser with people they knew as well as on other Whatsapp groups. We managed to get a lot of donations through this practice.” 

Kuldeep also revealed that there were a lot of strangers that donated to his fundraiser. “It’s a given that my family members and friends donated. But people that they knew also helped us with donations and it was great to see that, because I didn’t personally know many of these people.” 

Facebook promotions: Aside from sharing the fundraiser on Whatsapp, Kuldeep also promoted it on Facebook. “Though I got a good response from Facebook as well, I would say Whatsapp helped more,” he says. 

Why Kuldeep opted for crowdfunding 

Once Kuldeep learnt about crowdfunding through a doctor at Fortis Hospital where Ahanti was being treated, he was slightly reluctant to raise funds online. But he eventually warmed up to the idea  because managing funds was proving to be a difficult task for Kuldeep. 

“Heart transplant surgeries cost a huge amount. I can manage up to 8-10 lakh but after that, it gets very difficult to arrange for funds, especially when it’s a big amount like 25 to 30 lakh,” he says. 

Adding to that, Kuldeep talks about how other options such as taking loans or investing in savings didn’t prove to be as effective as crowdfunding since it didn’t help raise such a huge amount. 

“Through crowdfunding, I had a campaign manager who took care of my funds and that was a big relief. After reaching the goal amount, the financial burden was lifted off my chest and I was able to focus more on my daughter’s health. I can now focus on how to get a transplant for her rather than worrying about how I would arrange for such   a huge amount of money.”

Today, Kuldeep swears by crowdfunding. “I have been recommending crowdfunding to everyone I know,” he says. 

View Ahanti's fundraiser here! 

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