Meet 26-year-old Viveik Patel who raised Rs 6 cr in 6 days for Pulwama martyrs' kin

Madhuri Adnal

Bengaluru, Feb 18: As India reels in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama attack, a 26-year-old Viveik Patel who originally hails from Vadodara, Gujarat currently living in US decided to help the CRPF families and created a fundraiser on Facebook to raise donations.

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The fundraiser started on February 15 as Viveik was unable to contribute to Bharat Ke Veer through his US-based credit/debit cards.

According to a report on Indiatimes, working as a Senior Business Analyst in Virginia, Viveik Patel leveraged his contacts and even connected with Facebook managers regarding his fundraising initiative.

To start a fundraiser on Facebook, a person needs an NGO name. With the absence of an NGO name, Viveik Patel had to start the fundraiser in his own name.

Within 6 days of creating it, Viveik has managed to bring together over 22,000 people and collected more than $850,000 (~ approximately INR 6 crores) in 6 days.

He has received many calls from residents in other countries offering help and a local radio station spread awareness about his fundraiser.

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He also shares regular updates on Facebook and relevant screenshots of his correspondence with consulate officials in the States.

The Facebook Fundraiser is also supporting this initiative by helping the organizers to ensure that the money goes to the right place.

In light of the Pulwama attack, various government and non-government organisations as well as individuals have come forward to donate money for the martyrs' kin.

On Thursday, at least 40 CRPF paramilitary troopers were killed in a terror attack while several others are battling for their lives following what is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in the valley. An explosive-laden SUV rammed into one of the buses in the CRPF convoy at Awantipora town in the Pulwama district.

Here's how you can also help the families of the CRPF martyrs:

Bharat Ke Veer:
Bharat Ke Veer (India's Bravehearts), a brainchild of actor Akshay Kumar, the Ministry of Home Affairs fundraising initiative allows donations of up to Rs 15 lakh to an individual's account and donations to the Bharat Ke Veer corpus.

Army Welfare Fund:
The Indian Army has opened the Army Welfare Fund Battle Casualties account, which accepts donations for the families of battle casualties. The donations received in the fund is utilised to pay financial assistance/grant to widows of our Battle Casualties, their next of kin and dependents.

Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre:
One can also send donations to The Pune Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre which provides aftercare and rehabilitation of Defence Forces who are medically boarded out, that is retired from service due to spinal cord injuries while serving the nation.

The centre is accepting donations in the form of cash and cheques in the name of 'Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Kirkee'. Donations can also be transferred to 'Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Kirkee' account with Punjab National Bank (IFSC: PUNB0027800; Account no.: 0278000100174484).

Milaap:
Interested people can also donate through Milaap, which has initiated a donation drive on its crowdfunding platform for the families of the CRPF personnel. The crowdfunding is spearheaded by 'Hong Kong Desi,' an organisation raising funds among NRIs and Indians alike.

PayTm:
E-wallet Paytm has also come forward to help collect donations for the families of the martyred CRPF jawans in the Pulwama attack by collaborating with CRPF Wives Welfare Association. It has introduced a new option on its app with the name 'CRPF Bravehearts' to help people contribute it.

Google Pay:
Google Pay has also collaborated with CRPF Wives Association to set up an option to donate for the grieving families. The icon for CRPF Bravehearts is seen on the first row of the Google Pay homepage, with the logo of a soldier standing in front of the tricolour.

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