Facebook waiving transaction fee on $1.05 million raised for Pulwama victims’ families

Viveik Patel
Viveik Patel; image via Facebook

The social media giant acted upon request from the Richmond, VA,-based Viveik Patel, who raised more than $1 million in donations from across the US.

Here’s some more encouraging news, all the way from the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, for the families of Pulwama victims in India. The social media behemoth has decided to waive its customary transaction fee from the amount that was collected via Facebook fundraiser started by the 26-year-old Viveik Patel. That will mean 100 percent of the amount collected will go directly to families of the soldiers killed in the February 14 attack.

Patel started the fundraiser after he learned about the brutal terror attack that killed 45 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

His fundraiser struck a chord with Indian Americans across the United States, many of whom were unable to donate directly through the official “Bharat Ke Veer” account, set up by the Government of India, due to international transaction logistics.

Some 26,000 people donated large and small amounts to help the victims’ family. The fundraiser, which ended on February 28, raised $1.05 million — $1,051,400, to be precise.

An excited Patel told the American Bazaar that, with Facebook agreeing to waive its transaction fee, he is hoping that another $35,000 to $40,000 will be added to the amount and the money would go to the “Bharat Ke Veer” account, directly helping the slain soldiers’ families.

Explaining the transaction process further, Patel said, “According to the Facebook policy, the networking platforms levies a 2.5 percent to 3 percent fee on each contribution made on a personal fundraiser. But after we requested Facebook managers and told them about the extraordinary nature of this campaign, they contacted their higher management and were swift to take note of our request.”

Patel also credited the Indian consulate in New York for noticing his efforts and getting involved. “Once the consulate got involved, things became more transparent and authentic for many people who were willing to donate but could have been wary about how the money would eventually reach the affected,” he said.

Last month, the consulate invited Patel and he met with Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty. The consul general assured him that the mission will do all due processes and help him send the amount directly to the victims’ families, without delay.

“The Indian Consulate has suggested some reputed Indian American organizations that we can work with to get this money going to the Bharat Ke Veer account,” he said. “As per the legalities, Facebook cannot send money directly to a government account. They need an additional layer, such as an NGO, to get involved and transfer money via them. We are in that process and it is almost finalized.”

Patel says he expects the money to reach victims’ families in less than three weeks.

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