By Aditi, Rang De Delhi Chapter
It would be a cliché if I say that I was bored after working for two years in the IT industry. Life meant testing strange applications while the coffee mug waited to be re-filled. It was during one such days in 2009 when I got an e- mail from one of my friends.
It read ‘Guys look what I have found. A chance to invest in India’s development. Check out this website called rangde.org. It’s a new startup. These people have this simple idea of giving loans to the poor so that they can start or support their ventures and thus help themselves out of their misery. We just have to lend our money for some time and we get it back with an INTEREST!! Isn’t that unbelievable?
I have already made an investment of 2000/- Try it out yourself. Let us pitch in to make such startups a success until we come out with something of our own to make a difference.’
I read it twice and opened the website much against the urge to delete it straight away. And then I got thinking, ‘Rang De! Hmm... Some smart people out there; they think they can pull it off just because they have managed to plagiarize that name! Do they even realize what they are up to? I guess I am better off working with some NGO directly. At least I will know who I am working for.’
Sitting for long hours in front of computer screens sometimes makes you lazy to even go further down the link. So, I closed the website and deleted the mail. But it reappeared almost a year later with a smack of scorn & satire.
This time it read ‘All the self proclaimed intelligent & kind souls out there. I have been proved right. Kudos to the dedicated team at Rang De. Remember the investment I made of Rs.2000/- through rangde.org. It was lent to a few rural women for setting up their vegetable and poultry business. They used it to augment their business and then returned the amount with 3.5% interest!!!’ I feel so proud to be a part of such an effort. You guys keep thinking ;)’
I immediately opened the website and went through each page in great detail. The more I read, the more it made sense. By that time Rang De had already established itself and was reaching out to more than 6000 borrowers. The website was much more vibrant and engaging. ‘Oh my God, what have I been thinking about all these days? Isn’t it all very simple?’ I thought.
I created my account and immediately put Rs.500/-. The whole process was so simple that I couldn’t help myself investing again immediately. But I didn’t want to stop at that. So I looked for a way I could pitch in more. And lo! Even the process to become a volunteer was so easy. All I had to do was to get in touch with the city chapter president and discuss how and where I could assist.
Since then I have been a part of Rang De volunteer team assisting them in whatever ways it is possible. It has been a great experience. Only last month I wrote back to that friend of mine. ‘Guess what, I not only invested but also joined the Delhi chapter as a volunteer. However, I don’t wish to stop at just that. I am only hoping to contribute more and more towards this worthy cause. Thanks for introducing me to Rang De. Let us be the change’ To comply with RBI regulations, Rang De’s lending operations are moving from rangde.org to our brand new platform rangde.in. Visit rangde.in to continue social investing.