HELP TAMIL NADU FLOOD RECOVERY
Chennai, a vibrant Indian metropolis with 6 million people is in the middle of its worst crisis faced with torrential rains on a scale not experienced in over 100 years.
The city is deluged, people stranded, pushed out of their homes , and fighting for survival. Almost 200 people have lost their lives, and one of the largest cities in India has been declared a disaster zone, with the Indian Army, and local disaster relief professionals & common citizen volunteers aiding the relief effort. Thousands of relief workers are battling nature, infrastructure challenges and trying to rescue as many people as they can.
I am starting this fund to raise money to directly donate to 3 Public Relief organizations currently on the ground trying to assist and rehabilitate the populace.
The city has shown its character, its resolve and its spirit to help, aid people across the board, and this contribution (albeit small) will go a long way in helping them save more.
Chennai's resilience and display of humanity :
Let us do what we can at our end to make sure the city and the people are back on their feet soon.
And I personally dedicate this song (showcases what Chennai is all about) to everyone who donates. We are all Chennaiites today :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKMyYO2g6Fc (Courtesy: Anirudh Ravichandar)
All proceeds will go to the following three organizations involved in the relief efforts in the beautiful city of Chennai. These organizations have been independently vetted by various news organizations, and relief workers on the ground as people doing critical relif work in Chennai:
All the organizations below have been thoroughly vetted, and have the relevant certifications/compliance to accept international transfers from us:
Bhoomika Trust (Contribute to the initiative started by RJ Balaji and Siddharth, who have spearheded the response on the ground): http://bhoomikatrust.org/
Chennai Blue Cross (To make sure the animals have a fighting chance of survival and rebuild the shelter they run): http://bluecrossofindia.org/
World Vision Flood Relief (To assist rehabilitation efforts in Cuddalore/Chennai): https://www.worldvision.in/chennaifloods
WomenOfWorth (Directly help a rehabilitation center supporting 300 young girls with flood relief supplies): http://womenofworth.in/nov-2015-wows-chennai-flood-relief/
In addition to the organizations above, we will be making smaller contributions on a need basis to impactful projects that come our way, after our throrough vetting process.
Thank you everyone for your generosity,
For further questions or concerns:
About the Organizer and more information about the campaign:
I am Sharat Ganesh, a technology professional working in San Jose, USA. My entire family is in Chennai, and I did my undergraduate education there as well. I am trying to do what little I can merely facilitating and channeling funds from the United States and other countries towards this cause. I narrowed down on the list of places to donate to from various verified news sources, and through my friends who are actually involved in relief work on the ground in Chennai. I have 3 organizations listed above, and the funds will be equally divided among all three, and I will be performing a wire transfer through XOOM, or make payments to the raised amount via my debit account once the campaign closes. The funds once made available to the NGO's listed above, will then further be utilized by them to provide relief, and buy supplies for people on the ground.
Thank you all for your patience, and the overwhelming support. I understand I have not updated all of you for a few days. As mentioned in my previous update, I was working with Chennai Flood Relief, a grassroots 501c3 Non-Profit started by like minded technology professionals based out of Silicon Valley to assist in the reliable transfer of funds to organizations in need, and finish all the required tax-legal due-diligence.
1) I am pleased to confirm that this campaign page's funds 1st deposit of $31,906.72 (Rs.21,05,843.52) has already been successfully transferred to Chennai Flood Relief organization. This was done after performing all due-diligence, ensuring accountability of transfer between me-Gofundme and the non-profit.
I am attaching the confirmation letter from Chennai Flood Relief, and we will personally be working with them to re-route the funds to the organizations mentioned in our campaign.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me for any questions.
I also would like to thank my company Fireeye ( www.fireeye.com) for making a significant company contribution, and allowing for a 100% employee match to donors of this campaign.
Thank you all,
We are pleased to inform all of you that we are going to be working with "Chennai Flood Relief "- A 501(c)(3) Non-profit Corporation, to help redirect our campaign funds to relief work & charities in the field. This grassroots organization has been formed by technology professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area, to unify the response to crisis in Cuddalore and Chennai.
Me and Manish will be volunteering with them personally, and will help drive rehabilitation projects in Chennai/Cuddalore. We will also be making sure that the 501c3 Non-Profit efficiently and transparently sends the funds to the charities, and organizations (including Chennai Micro (Bhoomika Trust)) mentioned in our campaign page. All of you will be getting constant updates, receipts and photographs from the relief work in the field. We will ensure transparency and accountability at every step of the process.
We are working with GoFundMe, Chennai-Flood-Relief and WePay to make this happen. This will ensure that our donors are able to claim tax benefit on their donations.
We cannot thank all of you enough for your faith, support and encouragement to this cause. We are very excited, and motivated to ensure the rehabilitation projects proceed as planned. All of you are #HeroesOfChennai
#ChennaiRains #ChennaiMicro #CuddaloreRains #CuddaloreMicro #ChennaiWillRise
Thank you all,
Thank you all for your faith in us and your contributions to this campaign.
We are reaching a stage of critical rehabilitation for people impacted by the massive floods in Chennai and Cuddalore. This is a long term process as mentioned by many on the field, including Actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji who have spearheaded the relief effort on the ground.
Fundraising & Taxation Update:
1) There are a lot of concerns we have received about the taxes involved from our donors, and we would like to address them in this update.
2) We are going to be routing the funds raised through a 501c3 Non-profit organization in the United States, so the entire money can be utilized tax free.
3) We currently have a hold on the withdrawal, so we can identify the right 501c3 Non-Profit to partner with. We will be working and volunteering with that non-profit to make sure the funds are re-directed to the "designated" charities we have mentioned doing work in Chennai and Cuddalore.
4) This will also help our donors claim their donations as "tax" reimbursable benefit on their income statements.
This takes some time due to the legal and financial accountability issues arising from a fundraise of this scale.This has been an absolutely amazing learning experience, and we will ensure transparency at every step till the campaign ends.
Rehabilitation is an ongoing task, and it is going to take time. We will ensure our funds are utilized directly to help the people impacted get back on their feet soon enough.
Thank you all for your faith in us, our campaign and Tamil Nadu.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for any questions or concerns.
I am sincerely overwhelmed by the response to this campaign in the past 3 days. Firstly, THANK YOU EVERYONE for helping us raise over $30,000 in 4 days.Considering, we started with a simple statement, when I told my friend "Macha $2000 vantha peria vishiyam" [Dude if we raise $2000 it is a big deal] . It has truly been humbling, and it is our responsibility that we live up to the faith you have shown in us with true accountability. I am going to split today's update in two sections: Fundraising & Verification/Media Update.
FUNDRAISING UPDATE :
1) We are moving to a more critical phase of Rehabilitation & Recovery, and our funds will be dedicated to ensure that people have the resources to get back on their feet and, slowly but surely things go back to normalcy. Our funds will directly be diverted to organizations working towards that effort.
2) We started the fund as "Supporting Chennai" but have now expanded to help and assist the tremendous volunteer effort going on in Cuddalore, which is in dire need of help. We have started our due-diligence to identify and support relief workers supporting the recovery and rehabilitation in Cuddalore. Our campaign mission has been updated to reflect that, and more details on the NGOs we support in Cuddalore will be updated soon.
3) We will continue to accept donations so we can maximize the impact on the field with our network of "verified" NGOs and volunteers doing excellent work for the people affected during this crisis.
I have initiated withdrawal of $23,313.25 [Rs.1540989 as per XOOM conversion of Rs.66.1]. The money will be processed into our accounts in 2-5 business days [Withdrawal WEPAY screenshot attached to the update]. As soon as the funds are available, I will work with the banks to send the money to verified relief workers/NGOs in addition to those mentioned in the campaign page.
VERIFICATION OF OUR CAMPAIGN & MEDIA OUTREACH:
We mentioned in our earlier update that we are interviewing, and raising awareness in the US about #ChennaiFloods with ABC News. I hope most of our SF Bay Area donors were able to see the segment. I am sharing the news article/video of the segment below so everyone can see it as well. Please do read the article and the video at the top:
We were very thrilled as it gave us an opportunity to bring focus to the situation in Chennai/Cuddalore in the US, and thank Advaitha for connecting us with ABC.
This further gives us confidence, and allows us to raise more awareness to this crisis in Tamil Nadu and drive more engagement to the campaign.
We have also been endorsed by many people in the Tamil Film Industry who are doing critical work with their fan clubs, in assisting the people of Tamil Nadu [Screenshots of endorsements to our campaign attached].
We understand that all of you as donors want to make sure that any campaign they donate to is "VERIFIED" and "LEGITIMATE". Rest assured, we will be accountable for the entire amount raised, and that it reaches the masses who need it the most, and hope the media/NGO engagement we have done so far alleviates some concerns few donors have shared via email.
Once again, thank you all for your support. Without all of you we would not have been able to do what we have so far. Please continue to share this campaign on your social media and with your professional contacts.
Best regards and #StayStrong
#ChennaiRains #ChennaiFloods #CuddaloreRains #CuddaloreFloods #ChennaiMicro #CuddaloreMicro
Hi Sharat, good decision to transfer it in installments while keeping the campaign open. While it might mean more overall paperwork for you (and thank you for doing it!), I'm sure the organizations would appreciate it getting to them sooner rather than later. Appreciate your focus on accountability. You might be already be planning this, but put up the links to the requisite documents in the description and not just in a campaign update, so that it's always visible to any potential donor. Accountability and transparency is a big draw for many donors. Good luck!
@karthickKarthi: Yes we are identifying the right people working in Cuddalore to channel the funds to. Stay tuned for updates. @Puja Mohandas: We have already decided to make a significant contribution to #ChennaiMicro started by RJBalaji and Siddharth. They both are doing excellent work.
Kindly donate to udavum karangal run by vidyaakar. Home for psychiatric patients in Thiruverkadu submerged in recent flood.Hence pl help them also
Hi Sharat...thanks for taking the initiative for spearheading this fundraising initiate.I greatly appreciate it and I'm sure this money will go a long way in helping with relief efforts currently underway. I am posting this comment to make a suggestion on the charities that these funds will be donated to. There is a group headed by actor Siddhart and RJ Balaji that is doing some amazing and selfless work in this area. #chennaimicro is their tag and there are a legit group doing some very incredible work. Please consider donating a part of the funds from this pot to support them as well.
Sharath, can u please call me at 8478869043. I have some questions. Thanks
you can also donate on my campaign which i have started 4 days ago on ketto.org https://www.ketto.org/chennaiH
@Sharat Ganesh It would be great if some part of the money is been sent to Cuddalore district as well.
@Jithun: Absolutely. I already planned on doing that. Will do so as soon as the first payments have been made. Thanks for your support as always.
@Raguraman: This is not going to government funds. This is directly going to critical NGO's doing impactful work on the field. Thank you for your contributions.
I hope this fund will not go to chief minister fund... if it's again it will go to the F**** politician pockets only...
Hello Aarthi. Firstly thank you for backing us and spreading the word. The more we share, the more people become aware. I just got word from my friends, that a group of volunteers were able to reach Little Flower School with Food packets. I will follow up with them on the latest status. Thanks a tonne, and keep sharing the page so more can join the cause. We are doing the easy part, the real heroes are on the ground. Best -Sharat