Burda Media India recently partnered with Mylab Discovery Solutions and Milaap to help donate 10 COVID-19 test kits to hospitals. In a month, the initiative raised enough funds to double the initial projection and sponsor 21 test kits, enough to provide vital tests to 2,100 people.

 

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On the 1st of May, Burda Media India—one of India’s largest publishing houses and part of global media giant, Hubert Burda Media—teamed up with Mylab Discovery Solutions, an Indian biotechnology company authorised by the Indian government to manufacture COVID-19 test kits, in its fight against the novel coronavirus.

Realising that the first step to recovering from the pandemic is to increase the number of tests, the collaboration launched a fundraiser on South Asia’s largest crowdfunding platform, Milaap, to donate RT-PCR test kits to the worst affected cities in India. The publisher’s magazine titles and online brands, viz. Architecture + Design, asiaSpa India, Discover India, Lifestyle Asia India, and Travel + Leisure India & South Asia, led the way in the #FightBackWithTesting campaign.

As nearly 2,000 supporters donated, various public figures and influencers joined the fight. Observational comedian, Kunal Kamra, first donated an entire kit and then followed up by auctioning his YouTube Gold Button to the highest contributor. He was joined by another comedian, Karan Talwar, who auctioned a cricket ball signed by batting legend Sachin Tendulkar. These acts soon snowballed into an online movement. Lyricist Javed Akhtar auctioned a signed book while actor Naseeruddin Shah, directors Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Anand Gandhi, Avinash Arun, Neeraj Ghaywan, and writer Varun Grover followed suit by auctioning award trophies. This augmented support from several other celebrities such as Vishal Dadlani, Maanvi Gagroo, Shilpa Rao, and Rajshri Deshpande. Fashion bloggers Masoom Minawala Mehta and Santoshi Shetty stepped in to represent the fraternity to auction designer bags and dresses in support of the cause.

 

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The initial goal was to raise INR 13,44,000, to provide for 10 testing kits, enabling 1,000 people to get tested for COVID-19. Four weeks into the campaign, with the overwhelming support received from donors around the world, funds have now eclipsed a mammoth INR 30,13,039, more than double the original goal. This translates into 21 testing kits manufactured, allowing 2,100 people to get tested.

 

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Speaking on the success of the collaboration, Hasmukh Rawal, Managing Director, Mylab Discovery Solutions, said, “We were thrilled to know that Burda Media India could raise their fundraising target, not once, but twice. We would like to congratulate the team that identified, very early in the spread, that the need for testing is core to contain the impact of coronavirus. With Mylab’s locally sourced kits that are low-cost and meet 100 per cent concordance, many more patients can get now tested.”

 

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Bjorn Rettig, Burda CEO India & Asia, shared, “We, at Burda Media, keep the well-being of people first, along with all our partners. Hence, it was essential as a media house, with a strong presence in India, to do something for the society we operate within. Something for our stakeholders and readers. The idea of our fundraising initiative stemmed from a simple rational: What would be the most effective way to control the virus in India? Hence, our campaign on #FightBackWithTesting was born. Today, I am extremely proud to say that, with the help of our well-wishers, we are now able to donate more than 2,000 tests across two government hospitals in Mumbai and Delhi—the two worst-affected cities in the country. The test kits will be donated to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi.”

We, at Burda Media India, cannot thank our readers and supporters enough for making this fundraising campaign such a success.