On Thursday (July 14), the popular Indian photoblog ‘Humans of Bombay’ posted the story of a 22-year-old Muskaan, who apparently required ₹23 lakhs to pursue a master’s in Psychology at Harvard University. Soon after, netizens pointed out obvious discrepancies in the fundraising campaign with users pointing out that Muskaan has been running a similar fundraising campaign on Milaap.
Pointing out the discrepancies, a popular Twitter user @befittingfacts said, “Muskaan Bawa is collecting ₹25 Lakh in Milaap and ₹23.62 Lakh in Ketto for her ‘Education’. In Milaap she is from Dharmshala and in Ketto she is from Chandigarh.”
Muskaan Bawa is collecting ₹25 Lakh in Milaap and ₹23.62 Lakh in Ketto for her ‘Education’.
In Milaap she is from Dharmshala and in Ketto she is from [email protected]_ed @FinMinIndia pic.twitter.com/zRh3ankVZI— Facts (@BefittingFacts) July 16, 2022
Several other users raised questions about her entire story claiming that the last date for admissions to Harvard has already passed, and some even said that Muskaan is a model by profession and the entire thing is suspect.
Following the internet outrage over this fundraiser, Humans of Bombay issued a clarification on the matter.
In an Instagram post, the Indian photoblog stated, “At Humans Of Bombay, no fundraiser is taken up without an elaborate vetting of documents and due diligence. Muskaan’s story is no different.”
Humans of Bombay claimed that it confirmed every fact of the case and reviewed her documents before promoting the fundraiser. It had uploaded soft copies of Muskaan’s Harvard admission letter, the breakup of the fee structure, Harvard loan receipt, visa document, flight tickets, and lease agreement.
However, now the Indian photoblog has offered to return the money to all the donors to this fundraiser for Muskaan if they so desire. In an Instagram post, Humans of Bombay said, “We hear you and are cognizant of all the opinions that have been shared over the past few days on Muskan’s fundraiser. As an organization committed to showcasing the best of humanity- we assure you that our only intent was to support a girl’s education.”
The photoblog also requested people to not direct any hate toward Muskaan, saying that she and her mother have been receiving hateful comments, emails, and even threats.
Further, Humans of Bombay offered to return the money of donors by saying, “If any of the 1000+ donors would like a refund, please send an email on [email protected] with the subject line- “Refund: Muskaan’s Fundraiser” and we will get in touch with you to help facilitate the same via Ketto.”