•   
  •   
  •   

World Indians turn to crowdfunding to pay Covid bills

04:42  28 july  2021
04:42  28 july  2021 Source:   bbc.com

Backed to Business: New typing options as travel returns

  Backed to Business: New typing options as travel returns As one writing text entry option adds a screen, another adds the signature of one of the 20th Century's literary giants as a third slims down a folding option.As always, remember that crowdfunding campaigns entail the risk that the creators may not be able to fulfill deliverables. Pledge only what you can afford to lose.

Now, hobbled by patchy insurance, Indians are turning to crowdfunding to pay the steep medical bills , reports Astha Rajvanshi. Supraja Reddy Yeruva was unable to breathe properly for days after giving birth to her second child in June. The 27-year-old began showing Covid -19 symptoms during her pregnancy, shortly after visiting a hospital for a routine check-up. Soon, she contracted a severe lung infection and was admitted in the ICU at a private hospital in the southern city of Hyderabad. A month on, she is still there. With their six-year-old daughter and newborn son, her husband, Vijaya Yeruva

Then he turned to strangers, pleading online for help on Ketto, an Indian crowdfunding website. Overall, Sharma says he has paid more than ,000 in medical bills . Although he received ,000 through the crowdfunding platform he still needs to repay his lenders ,000. Indians pay about 63 percent of their medical expenses out-of-pocket. That is typical of many poor countries with inadequate government services. Data on global personal medical costs from the pandemic is hard to come by but in India and many other countries, treatment for COVID -19 is a huge added burden at a

Hospitalisations soared in India during a deadly second Covid wave. Now, hobbled by patchy insurance, Indians are turning to crowdfunding to pay the steep medical bills, reports Astha Rajvanshi.

Supraja Reddy Yeruva was unable to breathe properly for days after giving birth to her second child in June. The 27-year-old began showing Covid-19 symptoms during her pregnancy, shortly after visiting a hospital for a routine check-up.

Soon, she contracted a severe lung infection and was admitted in the ICU at a private hospital in the southern city of Hyderabad. A month on, she is still there.

With their six-year-old daughter and newborn son, her husband, Vijaya Yeruva, now anxiously waits for her recovery.

Cleveland ball club has decided on new team name, per report

  Cleveland ball club has decided on new team name, per report Cleveland has long been planning to move away from their current nickname, and now it seems they've made their final choiceMar 2, 2018; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the Chief Wahoo logo on Cleveland Indians uniforms against the Texas Rangers at Goodyear Ballpark.

Indians turn to crowdfunding to pay Covid bills . VideoThe pregnant Brazilian women dying from Covid .

Indians turn to crowdfunding to pay Covid bills . The pregnant Brazilian women dying from Covid .

Mr Yeruva is also scrambling to pay a hefty medical bill of nearly 6m rupees (£58,636; $80,615) for his wife's treatment. And the amount goes up by the day.

He used his health insurance, maxed out his credit cards and borrowed from the bank. After exhausting every other option, the 35-year-old turned to Ketto, a crowdfunding platform, and launched a fundraiser.

An engineer with a steady, but modest, annual income of $1,076 (£775), Mr Yeruva said he never imagined asking strangers for money.

"I worked hard to support my family and never asked anyone for help," he said. "Even now, I'm embarrassed to tell people about this fundraiser."

His desperation reflects the plight of thousands of Indian families who now face the collateral damage from India's devastating second Covid wave: crushing medical debt.

Texas Border Wall Donor Info Largely Anonymous Despite Abbott's Promise for Transparency

  Texas Border Wall Donor Info Largely Anonymous Despite Abbott's Promise for Transparency One donor used the name "Donnie Darko" while another referred to themself as "StopWasting TaxpayerMoney," contributing just $1.Abbott launched the crowdfunding campaign for the proposed border wall in mid-June, after the governor and other lawmakers raised concerns about a large surge in undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers coming to the Southern border with Mexico after President Joe Biden took office in January. Although the GOP governor promised "transparency," The Texas Tribune reported on Friday that most donors' identities are not being disclosed.

Their bill at a private hospital in Nampally: Rs 16 lakh. Mustafa, a hawker selling clothes in Old City's bylanes, was just 34. His family had to sell their gold and use his meagre savings to meet medical expenses. But that was not enough. "I started a campaign on crowdfunding platform Milaap, but he passed away the next day," said Shakeel. Now Shakeel plans to appeal again for his cousin's three little kids. "They now have no father and no money," he said. With private hospitals charging astronomical amounts for Covid -19 care, many patients and their family members have taken to crowdfunding to

US pop star Pink has offered to pay the fines handed out to the Norwegian women's beach handball team, after they wore shorts like their male counterparts instead of bikini bottoms. The team was fined 1,500 euros (£1,295) for "improper clothing" at the European Beach Handball Championships last week. Indians turn to crowdfunding to pay Covid bills .

Many have turned to crowdfunding to foot the hospital bills - and it has quickly emerged as a substitute for health insurance and government support.

Experts said three of the biggest crowdfunding sites - Ketto, Milaap and Give India - have collectively raised around $1.6bn with the help of 2.7 million donors so far.

Ketto, where Mr Yeruva launched his fundraiser, said it grew four times during both waves, raising more than $40m for some 12,000 Covid-relief campaigns.

"In many cases, crowdfunding became an alternate safety net to fill the existing gaps in the healthcare system," said Ravina Banze and Irfan Bashir, co-authors of the book, Crowdfunding: The Story of People.

Even before the pandemic, the greatest need for crowdfunding manifested in the lives of millions of sick people in India.

Out-of-pocket healthcare expenses drove 38 million into poverty in 2011-2012, according to a 2018 study by the British Medical Journal and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

The Christian nationalist assault on democracy goes stealth — but the pushback is working

  The Christian nationalist assault on democracy goes stealth — but the pushback is working Salon's 2018 reporting helped drive the Christian right's Project Blitz underground. Now it's back, on the down-low American Flag and Christianity Cross Getty Images/Javier Art Photography

Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation's bus has been converted into a vaccine centre to encourage more young people to get a Covid jab. Indians turn to crowdfunding to pay Covid bills .

Health workers in India put at great risk for little pay . How crowdfunding works. One of those successful crowdfunding campaigns was started by Equivi – a new, charitable group in Mumbai. Equivi was formed by a group of young filmmakers who wanted to take up the challenge of providing two To raise that amount, they turned to the crowdfunding platform, Milaap. Read more: Coronavirus lockdown: Is India flattening the COVID -19 curve? "We thought that this is a crisis that requires large-scale collaboration, and a crowdfunding platform like Milaap is able to help us reach people beyond

There's no data on how many more were pushed to financial ruin by medical debt during the pandemic, but a preliminary study by the Duke Global Health Institute and the PHFI estimates that two-thirds of India's self-employed and half of its salaried workforce could not afford to pay for critical care.

a group of people standing next to a bottle: India's second wave saw people scrambling to find oxygen for loved ones © Getty Images India's second wave saw people scrambling to find oxygen for loved ones

The burden falls heaviest on India's poorest, a group that last year increased by an additional 230 million Indians, according to researchers at Azim Premji University. More than 90% borrowed a median amount of $201 to pay off debts.

India's public spending on healthcare accounts for just 1.2% of its GDP - it's among the lowest in the world, with roughly two-thirds of Indians going without any health insurance.

"Having unexpected medical emergencies is a recipe for disaster when most people live under the constant threat of financial instability," Mr Bashir said.

In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised free coverage to half a billion of India's poorest citizens by launching "Modicare", the world's biggest health insurance scheme.

The original Cleveland Guardians? This roller derby team could cash in on Indians' name change

  The original Cleveland Guardians? This roller derby team could cash in on Indians' name change A little-known amateur men’s roller derby team may turn out to be an unlikely winner from the Cleveland Indians’ decision to change their name to the Guardians. The roller derby team has used the Cleveland Guardians name and logo for years and owns the corresponding domain name and social media accounts. Yahoo Sports reached out to both Cleveland teams to ask if they had communicated with each other since the MLB franchise announced its name change last week. An Indians spokesman declined comment on Monday for legal reasons. A representative from the roller derby team responded via Facebook messenger, “We sincerely appreciate you reaching out to us.

But an analysis by Proxima Consulting found that only 13% of those eligible under the scheme were able to claim insurance when hospitalised for Covid treatment in public and private hospitals.

The scheme does not cover outpatient costs either, which make up for a large part of medical expenses.

In Nagpur city, Chinmayi Hiwase went from hospital to hospital for three days to beg for oxygen and a vacant bed for her 57-year-old father, Rajesh Hiwase. She thought her struggle with Covid was over.

But an MRI scan of her father later detected an auto-immune disorder and mucormycosis or "black fungus". The additional treatment, which includes daily injections costing $94 each, has added to the total cost of $33,633.

It's an unimaginable amount for the 25-year-old, who is a single child and recently graduated. "We were shocked when we saw the bills," she said.

Her father, who worked at a private engineering college, supported the family on an annual salary of $605.

Without health insurance, medical bills have eaten into Ms Hiwase's savings, forcing them to borrow money from friends and, eventually, start an online fundraiser.

So far, the family has raised $11,956, almost half the amount they requested. "I didn't realize how helpful [crowdfunding] could be," Chinmayi Hiwase said, sighing with relief.

How you can help nonprofits secure thousands of dollars in grants from the Gannet Foundation

  How you can help nonprofits secure thousands of dollars in grants from the Gannet Foundation Your donations to any of the nearly 700 nonprofits in the 2021 A Community Thrives program can help groups qualify for grants of up to $100,000.Nearly 700 organizations are taking part in the 2021 program, a $2.3 million initiative sponsored by Gannett, the USA TODAY Network’s parent company. The monthlong giving event allows community-building groups to raise money through an online platform. Projects that raise a minimum amount are then qualified for grants up to $100,000.

"Crowdfunding has essentially given those individuals who can't afford private hospitals an opportunity to get themselves admitted," Ms Banze said.

Donors are often family and friends of those who start fundraisers, but there are also NGOs, celebrities and strangers, in India and abroad, who feel compelled to give.

But donations are often directed towards the most heart-wrenching stories or patients with strong social networks. Ms Banze and Mr Bashir worry that this fosters an environment where people are empathising only with the most severe cases.

"Not everyone is a great storyteller, and not everyone has the most extreme story," they said.

With half the country unable to access the internet, crowdfunding can also create "information asymmetry" by preventing those on the lowest rungs of society from tapping into its power.

Despite donations, Ms Hiwase's financial troubles are far from over. Loans still need to be repaid, and her father's treatment will also take a long time.

"We could barely afford an injection without the help of others," she said. "I don't know what those who don't have that kind of support would do."

In Hyderabad, Mr Yeruva is contemplating selling his assets and even his house to pay for his wife's treatment.

"It will take years for things to go back to normal, but I want to make sure our kids have their mother," he said.

Astha Rajvanshi is a freelance journalist and fellow at the Institute of Current World Affairs,based in Delhi.

You may also be interested in:

7/29 AM newsletter .
7/29

usr: 3
This is interesting!