Mumbai: Acid attack victim says she called crowdfunding portal Ketto, but they 'ignored' her

Updated: Nov 29, 2017, 09:30 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Shabbo Shaikh was just two when she became the unintended victim of the acid her father flung on her mother. Today, she is 23, but still carries the scars from that incident

Shabbo Shaikh was just two when she became the unintended victim of the acid her father flung on her mother. Today, she is 23, but still carries the scars from that incident. She lost her mother to the attack and her father to prison, leaving no one to care for her or to pay for the expensive surgery to reconstruct her face.

Acid attack victims Shabbo Shaikh (left) and Daulat Bi Khan. Pics/Rane Ashish
Acid attack victims Shabbo Shaikh (left) and Daulat Bi Khan. Pics/Rane Ashish

"My father hurled acid at my mother and some of it fell on my face. My face was seriously disfigured. My mother battled for her life for two days, before succumbing to her injuries. My father was arrested by Matunga police and was convicted for his crime," she recalled.

False hope
When Shabbo learnt about the crowdfunding portal Ketto, for the first time, she thought help was at hand. She never imagined that the same portal would first use her story to raise money and then keep more than 50 per cent of it.

Shabbo Shaikh (left) and Daulat Bi Khan finally received the raised money from Ketto after mid-day's report
Shabbo Shaikh (left) and Daulat Bi Khan finally received the raised money from Ketto after mid-day's report

Earlier this year, Shabbo approached the Saahas Foundation for help, where she met Daulat Bi Khan, an acid attack survivor who now works to help other victims. "I had approached Ketto with the request of crowdfunding. But I was shocked when they demanded 50 per cent of the donation as their cut for raising funds. Since there was no other option, we agreed. But the deal was that Shabbo would get Rs 15 lakh, and whatever Ketto collected over and above that would remain with them," Khan recalled.

Ketto began the online campaign in the first week of October, with an inflated goal of Rs 30 lakh. However, they did not meet this target, and the campaign was closed on November 8. by this time, they had collected Rs 13.33 lakh. "But on November 16, they transferred just Rs 5.9 lakh to Shabbo's saving account," said Khan.

Shaboo added, "After the money was transferred, Ketto officials began to ignore us. The deal was to give me Rs 15 lakh, but they had collected only Rs 13.33 lakh, and they took half of it."

The other side
Justifying the huge cut, Ketto founder Varun Sheth said, "To launch an online campaign for raising funds, we need finance for advertisements and marketing. In case the victim is ready to bear the cost, we don't claim any money from the donated amount. But if he or she is unable to finance the marketing expenses, we deduct the same from the collected money."


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