Note : This fundraiser is being run by a friend due to some logistical problems.
With that out of the way, hi I’m Venkatesh (a.k.a. Venky). I’m 22, live in India, and am running this campaign to raise some funds for a computer so that I’m able to keep working.
Some backstory, I come from an extremely financially weak background and I’ve been dealing with money problems ever since I’ve been a child. While I’ve lived most of my life without having financial security, I was hit with my first major obstacle when I was 14. My father’s business crashed, leaving us with big loans and no source of revenue. Since I was quite aware of the problem, I spent my days trying to earn money online. I was mostly unsuccessful, until I stumbled upon a tutoring website. Determined to help my family, I taught myself college-level concepts and writing formats and (after a lot of failures) managed to actually make enough money to tide us over until my father found another job. Since the website ran on US time, I used to stay up nights working and then attend school in the morning.
While the situation didn’t improve too much post this incident, we lived frugally and made do until I went to college. Finding a college I could afford was very difficult but eventually I was able to find a prestigious one that gave me a very generous financial aid package. Unfortunately, I still ran out of money for college tuition and living costs after my first year. I applied for a revision in financial aid but was rejected. When the stress started to deteriorate my mental health, I borrowed some money and went to a psychiatrist for one session who commented (in an informal capacity) that the only thing he thought I could do was drop out. Not really one to give up on an education I worked so hard to even have a chance at, I knocked on a lot of doors and wrote a lot of emails until I managed to get a part time internship to pay for college dues and meal costs.
In my 3rd year, the situation didn’t really improve very much so I had to find another part-time job but since this one didn’t pay as much as the 1st one, I couldn’t afford to eat 3 meals every day. So for one academic year I ate only 1 meal/day to survive. Simultaneously, things were bad at home so I was doing freelance work to send money back home while also taking a full time course load at college. The stress and starvation had long lasting health effects, with me being diagnosed with moderate to severe anxiety disorder and developing chronic acid reflux, both of which still affect me to the present day of writing.
Now, I have finally graduated and have managed to land a job but I’m supporting a family of 3 people while also trying to deal with my own mental and physical health problems so after bills every month, I don’t really have enough of my paycheck left to call it savings. This would have been fine since I’ve dealt with a lot worse, but my (second hand 5 year old) laptop is falling apart(see video for proof) and it has reached the point where I can’t even do my work without it hanging every 20 minutes. I’m a Computer Science major who works in the field of ML/DL and web development and my laptop needs to have a basic level of computing power (instead of parts that fall off every day). Since my family depends on me for sustenance, and I on my laptop to provide said sustenance, you can see how that might complicate matters.
As you can tell, this is not really the first problem I’ve dealt with and it’s honestly not the last but I’m exhausted, severely burned out, and in constant pain. I’ve reached the point where I have realised that asking for help is the only option that won’t require me to sacrifice any more of my health trying to figure out drastic solutions. So here I am, asking for help with covering the cost for a new computer so I can get some work done without every day being even more difficult than it already is.
Please contribute if you can, and I genuinely thank you for reading all of this.
Hope you have a great day!
- Appaiah Kuppanda
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