Kerala girl's plea for help goes viral; money pours in

Contributions pour in for Kerala girl whose post seeking help for mother's liver transplant goes viral

Varsha, a college student, needed money for her mother's liver transplant. DH Photo

The plight of a hapless girl to meet the expenses of her mother's liver transplant met with overwhelming support. The girl's post went viral on social media and she was flooded with contributions to the tune of Rs. 75 lakh in just one day, while she pleaded for only Rs. 19 lakh.

Varsha, a degree student hailing from a humble background in Taliparamba in Kerala's Kannur district, was shell shocked when the doctors at a private hospital in Kochi told her that a liver transplant was required within three days to save her mother's life and the cost would be around Rs. 19 lakh.

In order to help her, a group of charity workers made a video wherein Varsha could explain her problem and ask for help. Varsha broke down when sharing her plight.

Varsha said that she and her mother, Radha P, were eking out a living with the wages her mother earned from an ice cream shop job. They had no other members in the family and no relatives to support. Her mother developed liver ailments following jaundice.

When she took her mother to the hospital she just had Rs. 10,000 at her disposal. When doctors said that liver transplant was the lone option she did not think twice before offering her own liver. But when doctors told her about the cost she was taken aback. She somehow managed to borrow Rs. 1 lakh. Though she approached some government agencies for assistance, they turned her down, citing the Covid situation. She then came across social worker Sajan Kechery and contacted him.

Her plight was shared on social media during the late hours of June 23 by Sajan and some other social workers, including social worker Feroz Kunnumparambil. By evening the contributions to her bank account crossed Rs. 50 lakh.

Sajan said that despite the financial difficulties many NRIs contributed as they were moved by Varsha's plight. Some could only contribute very small amounts owing to their own weak financial conditions. But even those were a big support to the hapless girl.

Varsha's bank account was flooded with contributions from philanthropists and well-wishers 16 hours after her story was posted on social media. Within those 16 hours, her account had over Rs 50 lakh.

On the evening of June 24, Varsha, along with Sajan and others, put up another post to thank the contributors and request them to stop contributions as she now had teh required sum. "From being in a hapless situation, now I feel as if god appeared in front of me in the form of these philanthropists," she said.

But contributions kept coming in and Varsha received around Rs. 75 lakh, according to Sajan. Varsha plans to use the excess amount for others facing a similar crisis.

Hospital authorities said that the transplant was performed on Thursday.