Crowdfunding is something, not most politicians go towards. Most of the times it is big names backing the politicians and in return of favors. This is how politics works in the country. Crowdfunding is rare in India and it does not happen because people are not willing to pay to the politicians who are already super rich. However, there are some politicians who do not have any connections to the big league businessmen.
Politicians who are not in politics because of nepotism or politicians coming from certain parties and also politicians who really are true to themselves work on the basis of crowdfundings. India has around 467 parties and most people in India only know two and at the very most three parties. That said, crowdfunding is very much in the play because the number of parties in India is huge. The reason this is being discussed here is because of the startup OurDemocracy.
This startup helps politicians raise money through its platform. Atishi Mahajan, Aam Aadmi Party’s politician just raised INR 410 thousand which is INR 41 lakhs through this startup. There are many other politicians working with this startup. The working structure of this startup is extremely easy and transparent as well.
The company charges 5% commission which it lists on its website and hence becomes transparent. Most of the money earned goes to freelancers who make videos and campaign ads for the politicians it is raising funds for. The founder of this startup Anand Mangnale and is run by Bilal Zaidi and Prashant Kishor.
Mangnale says that the money that comes in does not go the OurDemocracy account. It stays in the payment gateway’s account and is then transferred to the candidates or the campaigner’s account. He told ET, “Crowdfunded contributions do not go directly into the OurDemocracy account. It stays in the payment gateway’s account and is later transferred to the campaigner’s account. This way no one can say we took the money or ran away with the money.”
There are many more politicians working with OurDemocracy. Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNU student turned politician of Communists Party of India, Nana Patole of Congress, many of the AAP candidates and also Raghav Chadha, Dilip Pandey and many more. The startup has also contacted Trinamool Congress, Bhartiya Janata Party, Telegu Desam Party, and many such parties to provide its services.
This is a nice initiative and such startups should be given a platform. The supporters of certain parties can then make payments to the candidate they support and make sure they don’t run out of money for the campaigns they are running.