Goshala is an example of crowdfunding in India

Goshala cart

Have you noticed the concept of goshala in your city? In my recent visit to my hometown, I noticed their cart coming to our street and people giving it left-over food items, sometimes coins too. I have seen this phenomenon going on over the years and people just doing it out of their beliefs, faith, etc. and also sometimes to make sure that the food items don’t go waste. The main thread of this belief is the concept of daana, charity, which is still deep rooted in Indians. A large number of people still believe that charity for a cow reaps good karma.

For me, this is one of the earliest examples of crowdfunding in India. The cart roams around the city or town and collects funding and contribution for successfully running the goshala, which is supposed to provide multiple benefits to the residents.

Yes, you are right. There are multiple benefits residents can get from a goshala. Will talk about that in detail a bit later.

Having a goshala in the village, town or the city is an ancient practice. It is a social way of rearing cows so that they could be nourished better and also their milk, which is supposed to have unmatched qualities, could be made available to the residents. Usually, there is a goshala committee or an organization that runs the operations, while the whole community participates in various roles.

The concept of crowdfunding is a very novel. The project owner would appeal to the public to fund the project because it is good and beneficial for the society in some way or other. As a payback for the funding, various types of perks and thank-you tokens are offered. These are more oriented towards motivating the funders so that they feel that their money is not going to a gutter and they are not getting anything in return.

For example, suppose a musician is looking to release his/her CD. He has the music and art but does not have funds to get the recording done, process it and release the CD and do further advertising also. A crowdfunding campaign around it would invite people who like music to contribute by pledging to buy the CD or simply donating something so as to enable the artist to produce the CD.

Goshala sounds like a similar concept. Let’s now focus on what type of benefits it offers to the residents.

  • If the goshala is functioning nicely, it offers medical help to cows which might not be the part of goshala. Freely roaming cows may get attention whenever needed.
  • It offers pure milk to the residents, which is now a problem in various parts of the country. Though it is paid but getting quality milk is what people are looking for.
  • Sometimes, freely roaming cows venture towards the roads where high-speed vehicles get involved in accidents. Goshala makes sure that these cows are provided shelter and are nourished properly. So, kind of a dual benefit.

All these benefits are offered without any price–it’s just voluntary contribution or donation that you make. They don’t force it on you.

Share what you feel about this observation.

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