By Smita Ram, Rang De Team
With all the recent euphoria about field trips, the Rang De field trip recently reached a different league altogether. It was hard to contain our excitement when we received a phone call from none other than Ms. Waheeda Rehman. She had read about us on a recent story in DNA and was very eager to know how the Rang De Model worked. At the outset, I could not believe that I was talking to the celebrity. It was only later on in the day when I received a message from DNA that I realised it was ‘The Waheeda Rehman.’ After a brief meeting with us in Mumbai, she offered to join us on a field trip and interact with some of the women who had received the loan from Rang De.
Waheedaji interacting with borrowers in Nagpur
So, on 10th February we set out on the field trip. With butterflies in my stomach, for I was completely new to this area of celebrity management- we started on what could be a very memorable field trip for all of us. I was accompanied by Rohini from the Rang De Mumbai Chapter on the first day and was joined by Mitesh for the second. Mitesh volunteered to film the trip and take pictures during the interaction. This was indeed very helpful as it would have been difficult for us to converse with Ms. Rehman as well as get some footage of this rare field trip.
We had decided to meet women from Nagpur and our field partner CBMD as they were the first ones to have received a loan from Rang De. Mr. Jagdeesh Joshi — one of the Directors of CBMD had arranged for us to interact with a group of 15 women. Ms. Rehman took the women by surprise as they were not expecting a visit from celebrity. She was at ease when it came to interacting with the women. She asked each one of them about how they had utlised the loan, their plans for the future and also at what point they would not require a loan.
She had a piece of advice for everyone — for those who ran eateries — she spoke about cleanliness; for those who had daughters in their adolescence — she spoke about making them independent; for women with babies, she spoke about not having too many children. Not only did she interact with everyone but did so with a lot of humility. There was no air about her, so much so that we forgot she was a celebrity.
To me, the entire experience was surreal. For a bollywood celebrity to volunteer for a field trip and understand how Rang De works — is commendable and we really appreciate Ms. Rehman for that.
On the whole a very eventful trip. We also got a sneak peek into what celebrities go through at public places. There were people talking to her, asking her for a picture, an autograph and anything that would help them capture the moment they spent with this beautiful lady. And to think that Rang De got to spend almost 36 hours with her is still hard to believe.
The pictures of the trip can be viewed on the our Facebook Fan Page.
Rang De is transitioning from a charitable trust to a Non Banking Financial Company. Check out our brand new peer-to-peer lending platform rangde.in