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FEATURE | JULY 26, 2020:
For this 22-year-old student from Garo Hills, the lockdown period and the COVID-19 pandemic was not a stumbling block but another opportunity to serve the society.
Meet Bikram Ch Sangma, a YouTuber who hails from Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. This young man with a "heart of gold" has been making numerous videos on YouTube and managed to raise funds for victims of floods in West Garo Hills and Assam.
He is currently pursuing his degree in Economics from Williamnagar Government College. He is also the Secretary of Inter-Collegiate Evangelical Union (ICEU), and Joint Secretary of the Baptist Youth Fellowship.
In an exclusive interview with The Northeast Today, Bikram Ch Sangma spoke about his journey and his vision.
Q1. What is the name of your YouTube channel? And what is the Niche of the channel?
Bikram: I owned two YouTube channels named "Masie Rabo" and "Masie Rabo Tech", a Garo Word meaning (Need to Know). My Channel is all about giving information about what is going on in our District, State, Nation, and World Wide. It's a kind of a news channel but I only give important information.
And the contents for "Masie Rabo Tech" are Mobile Unboxing, Question and Answer, reviews, and other Technology Related.
Q2. When did you start YouTubing? And how did you start?
Bikram: I created my YouTube Channel in June 2019 but started working from 24 December 2019. It started as a Technical channel & Vlog but after the outbreak of coronavirus, I started giving more information about the pandemic, like clarifying fake news, etc.
Q3. What motivated you to start YouTubing?
Bikram: I saw many Garo Youtube videos that talk about tech-related and others but the contents were not satisfactory. So the thought that I could do better pushed me to start my own YouTube channel.
Q4.How do you produce content?
Bikram: For my news video, I scan many platforms on important information; I spend 5 hours making one video; I upload three videos daily — two for Masie Rabo (Morning & Evening) one video for Masie Rabo Tech. So, I spend a total of 13-14 hours to make three videos daily.
Q5. How much do you earn from youtube?
Bikram: YouTube earnings are not fixed; sometimes it goes up and sometimes it goes down. I can't tell my exact earnings because YouTube has some rules. From both the Channels I get Rs. 17,000-20,000 and sometimes more depending on the number of people watching the videos.
Q6. I have seen a lot of people earning from YouTube. Was that easy to do? Because what you are doing can be inspirational and it can be a livelihood opportunity for others as well.
Bikram: Yes, Big² YouTubers earn above Rs 1 lakh per month, some earn even more than Rs 10 lakh because they get sponsorship from companies & Mobile apps, starting from Rs 5,000 till 5,00,000 for one promotional video.
Making videos is not easy. Yes, those who watch them can easily say it's too easy but trust me, you will cry in the beginning. Only making videos is not enough; you need to give your best. Your video needs to be attractive, informative, or funny, etc.; if people don't learn or enjoy watching, what is the point in making them. So the way you talk and make the video is more important.
Yes, YouTube is a source of income; anyone can join and earn lakh of rupees. It does not require any educational qualifications and if you have talent, come to YouTube. You got to have the patience to grow. All you need is your Voter Id, Bank Account & Pan Card that's all.
Yes, we can rely on it as a side work; during the day time, we can do some other work.
Q7. What prompted you to donate money for Assam floods as we know that Garo Hills is also reeling under floods?
Bikram: I saw many people died in the floods; they are crying for food & water. We are Assam's neighbours. Our relatives are in trouble; so be responsible and reach out to them. That was what I expressed to my viewers. When I started raising funds for Assam Floods, West Garo Hills wasn't affected by the floods then.
Q8. How much did you donate for Assam Floods and when?
Bikram: I donated Rs.75,000/- on July 21.
Q9. I also learned that you raised funds for West Garo Hills? Is that true?
Bikram: Yes, I did. it's true.
Q10. If so, how much have you collected so far and how did you do that?
Bikram: For West Garo Hills, I have managed to raise Rs. 81,633 and I even added my YouTube income of Rs. 10,000; so the total amount collected comes to Rs. 91,633. I also urged my viewers to start donating via, GooglePay, PhonePay, PayTM & Online Banking.
Q 11. Who are the people who donated?
Bikram: They are my viewers; some of them are working as labourers, some are students, some are office workers, some have small businesses and some are vegetable vendors.
Q12. You also donated a box of Masks to the Health Department in East Garo Hills. How did you manage to get the masks?
Bikram: The masks were also donated by people. I only ordered it from my friend, who is engaged in stitching them. So she made one box of masks for me. People liked my work and donated some money, for which I used it to buy masks.
Q13. What other contributions have you made during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Bikram: In the wake of Covid-19, many people were stuck in different places in India. These stranded individuals were provided a link to get themselves registered to enable the Meghalaya Government to identify them and bring them back to the state. But many people don't know how to register. So, I figured this would be the best way to be a part of the CHANGE. I help them by registering for them from 7 am till 11:30 pm.
I have registered more than 100 people in that portal so that they can come back home by providing my contact number. I also donated my 30% income to COVID-19 centre.
Q14. What message would you like to convey to the readers?
Bikram: Whatever you're doing, do it from your heart. Don't shy away from using your talent and skills to help others. Accept your mistakes and learn from them.