Milaap, considered as South Asia’s largest online crowdfunding platform, has collected nearly Rs 90 crore which will be used to help stranded migrants, daily wage labourers get access to essentials and community kitchens.

A press statement from the company said the funds will also be used to help trans people, male sex workers, circus artistes, drivers, delivery personnel, rural artisans, dancers and freelance workers.

“During the times of natural calamities like floods in Chennai, Assam and Kerala, crowdfunding has enabled people to unite and help the worst affected section of people rebuild their lives. It was a stroke of hope to see it happen at a time like this when everyone’s life is displaced in some way or another,” Anoj Viswanathan, President and co-founder of Milaap said.

He said during the last one month, Milaap has witnessed an increase in customer queries by five times and a 65 per cent increase in the number of fundraisers. “It was new for us, but now, more than ever, we wanted to ensure seamless user experience. Therefore, we immediately built a special team to prioritize these needs and waived off our platform fee for all

Covid-19 initiatives so that people in need can get all the help coming their way.”

The preliminary theme of fundraising was for food, meals and ration for the worst-affected segments, like daily wage earners and migrant workers, followed by funds for medical and personal protective equipment for healthcare and other frontline workers. The third one is for specifically vulnerable segments of people.

A Chennai based trans-community started a fundraiser to reach out to at least 100 members initially but the response was so overwhelming that they went on to facilitate support for additional 200 affected trans people. Similarly, 11-year-old Ridhi from Hyderabad also received generous contributions from across the globe. This 6th grader has collected over Rs 7.48 lakh and has distributed 1250 ration kits to daily wagers. She has plans to distribute 500 more kits in the coming days.

Among others, Luis Miranda, Chairman of CORO and Centre for Civil Society also started a fundraiser on Milaap to raise funds to distribute essential items to daily wage workers. So far, he has raised about 70 per cent of the required Rs 1.3 crore and families of thousands of wage workers have received help.

Mayukh Choudhury, co-founder & CEO of Milaap said, “while tomorrow is uncertain for everyone, we can still agree that the problems of today are harsher on some than the others. We would like to thank the 3000 plus unsung heroes who lobbied support for critical needs and the 1.6 lakh generous donors who came forward to help, for adding an unforgettable chapter of hope even in these tough times. Some of these campaign organizers already have managed to serve over 50 lakh meals from

Over the last decade, Milaap has built a network of over 1.5 lakh small businesses who we have supported through regular capital interventions. We wish to extend our platform to qualifying small and microlocal businesses that have been affected by the crisis We are working with our partner Intuit QuickBooks to help these businesses raise small grants to restart their work after, Choudhary said.

Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses, Facebook India said, “Milaap has been using Facebook actively to raise funds, reach the right set of donors, and create awareness about the different COVID-19 relief causes. The strong engagement and response they’re receiving on their Facebook page with 2 million followers is testimony to the very important and incredible work they’re doing in these challenging times.”

Milaap’s community of funders come from over 130 countries across the world and have contributed nearly 950 crores for 200,000 plus projects across India.