The aftermath of the Pulwama attack on Feb 14 saw the entire nation come forward in mourning of the 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans who were killed and in support of the families of the slain.
And one of the most remarkable efforts has been made by a 26-year-old Viveik Patel, who lives in the Virginia, US. The Indian-origin man from Gujarat's Vadodara has managed to raise over $865,259 USD through Facebook's 'Fundraiser' feature.
Patel started the fundraiser on Feb 14 itself and in just such a short time, he has managed to supercede his initial objective to raise $500,000.
Patel wrote on the Facebook page that he wanted to send the money to CRPF. However, once the fundraiser started raking in multiple donations, many of those who had donated or were willing to donate had doubts about how Patel was sending the money to the people it was meant for.
To clarify, Patel posted several updates on Facebook. According to his posts, the Patel contacted the Indian Embassy and is currently hoping to connect with the Prime Minister's Office in Delhi to complete the transfer of funds. Patel wrote that he would only give the money to a government delegate to ensure fairness.
Indiatimes reported that the Patel and his posse had indeed been in contact with the CRPF regarding the transfer of funds.Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul-General at India in New York, also cofirmed that Patel had collected the donations and efforts were being made to securely transfer the money to India now.
The gesture has won the 26-year-old applause and praise on social media.
Even as the country mourned the loss of the jawans with their tricolour-wrapped coffins reaching their respective homes this week, many have come forward to help the families of the slain troops. The government has also started a fundraiser portal called 'Bharat Ke Veer' for citizens of India to donate to the grieving families. However, the portal is inaccesible to Indian diaspora living in other countries.
With the initiative, over 22,000 NRIs came forth to show their support and solidarity. Considering Patel's efforts, many felt that the governmnet should dutifully ensure that the money reached the right hands.