Project Rang De Lives: The First Leap

September 5, 2013
By Rang De Team
Payoshni Saraf, Rang De Social Investor
In our last blogpost, we introduced Project Rang De Lives where Rang De Social Investor Payoshni Saraf also a Teach for India Fellow introduced the concept of ‘saving’ and ‘investing’ to her 7th graders in Pune. The class saved for a month and recently made their first investment! Here's an account of their journey. There was excitement. There was tension. There was this little bubble of maturity that was forming, almost like a first step into adolescence. Today is the day. The day when we make us count. The day we make our first Rang De social investment.
Then there were questions. Lots of questions.
Some of the students asked. “Didi, whom are we going to invest in?”, “ Didi, do you know them?”, “ Didi, when will get our returns?”, “Didi, what is the interest %?” A meek voice also said, “Didi can you please teach me again how to calculate interest. My team wants me to close the accounts for this month.”
Didi also had some questions. “Was doing Rang De Lives easy or tough?”, “Was saving money while cutting down your spending easy or tough?”, “What values did you learn in the last one month?”, “When you spoke to your friends and family about what you are doing, was there a negative reaction and how did you handle it?”, “Can you think of ways to improve this project?”
After our lunch break, we huddled around Didi in small groups and went through Rang De’s website. We met the team, read their vision, their working model, we saw how one can participate and we read the success stories.
And then came the time we had been waiting for! In our groups of 3 and 4 we chose 5 borrowers to make an investment in. Sitabai Gaikwad runs a vegetable stall and was funded for INR 200/-. Gajanan Band ran a hair salon and got INR 200/- from us to help him expand his business. Maya Dhobhale who runs a mess service wanted money to procure tiffin boxes, vegetables, grocery items and we invested INR 200/-  so that she could do exactly that. Our total investment for the day was INR 900!
Next, we sat within our teams and discussed all the questions that Didi had asked us to reflect upon. Hear 2 of our friends talk about their experience on this journey.
It has been a fulfilling one month, but we are not done yet. We have increased our target and prepared to make a bigger investment next month. Also, keenly anticipated is our field visit when we go and actually meet these borrowers and know their stories. Watch out this space for more!
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