I have been fortunate to receive fan love because of my brother, and I have seen first hand the love that my family receives from their fans. Arjun bhaiya’s fans have always been the sweetest to me — they even named a star after me for my birthday! They don’t even know the celebrities on a personal level but they still choose to shower blessings, love and good wishes upon them, with almost no expectations in return.
I’ve always felt that this kind of pure love must be recognised or rewarded in some way. The final piece in the puzzle was seeing the wave of love and positivity showered on my cousin during her wedding last year.
In today’s world where everyone is fast to judge, troll and pass comments, seeing them receive an abundance of love and duas from complete strangers made me want to do something to help give back some of the joy to this community of well-wishers.
I was working on another venture that had a huge social/ giving back via charity component to it — a huge part of that was because of my mother.
Our mother always said that in order for the people around us to be able to move forward and prosper as we do, we must always share the wealth. So once the spreading joy to fans bit was decided in my head, it felt like the next step has to be a combination of the social impact aspect from the venture I was originally working on with this idea of spreading joy and giving back to the fans. This is how Fankind was born.
With each celebrity association, we curate an authentic, money-can’t-buy experience and associate it with a charity (registered NGO in India) that the celebrity is passionate about. These experiences go beyond the standard meet and greets, and give the fans a chance to really interact with the celebrity and spend time with them.
For example — an experience we have live right now is a chance to go bowling and play arcade games with Sonakshi Sinha (donations from her campaign will help children who were born with congenital heart defects in Tamil Nadu get medical treatment for free via the little hearts program by Being Human).
We just completed and closed the loop on Varun Dhawan's experience where Varun spent almost three hours with his fan! They chilled, chatted, played a game of paintball and basically had a lot of fun. His campaign raised funds for Manavlok — an NGO that works for the betterment of farmers in Maharashtra.
Each campaign is live on our website for a period of 30-45 days. Once it is live, anyone who wishes for a chance to meet the celebrity can choose to participate by donating and purchasing “entries” on our website. No matter what part of the country you are from, if you win, Fankind will fly you or drive you to Mumbai and put you up in an awesome hotel, pamper you to the best of our ability to ensure you have the most magical day we can dream of.
The more you donate, the more “entries” you get and that increases your chance of winning. At the end of the campaign period, one winner out of everyone who has donated is picked at random by an unbiased third party draw service (random.org). Entries for Sonakshi’s campaign start at Rs 100.
At the end of the campaign, one participant gets to meet the celebrity and live the dream experience, and effectively 70% of the money goes to a great cause.
Right now, one fan wins the ultimate experience and gets to bring a friend or plus one along with them, but every single person who transacts gets a personalized digital certificate with their name on it that has been autographed by the celebrity.
The ultimate goal is to take people who would never have thought about giving in the traditional sense of the word, and make them more open to the idea of philanthropy.
We have always been told that boond boond se banta hai sagar — that is the power of crowdfunding as in this case every small contribution (even as little as Rs 100) can make a huge positive impact and get you one step closer to meeting your favourite celebrity.
This is how we were able to donate Rs.8.95 lakhs from Varun's campaign to charity. In the colloquial sense, we make philanthropy “cool" as you get something in exchange for your kindness.
Arjun bhaiya has the best heart and he is extremely generous with his praise for me! I don't believe being kind-hearted or showing kindness towards people is a drawback. Anything that makes someone else smile or brings joy to the world can never be a drawback.
Yes, sometimes it helps to be thick-skinned to be able to remain unaffected by brickbats or trolls, but that in no way should mean that we stop being kind-hearted, just because someone else is being malevolent or hurtful. Now more than ever, I truly believe that kindness can change the world and make it more bearable.
— Co-ordinated by Nichola Pais