Since the time of Rang De’s inception in 2008, we have aimed to serve underserved communities across India. Today, we have a presence in 17 states and this has given us a key learning that geography greatly shapes the lives of people.
In Uttarakhand, the mountainous terrain limits livelihood opportunities. In Manipur, the weather calls for warm clothing, resulting in a heritage of weaving. In drought-ridden Vidarbha, Maharashtra, most people are dependent on small scale industries to earn a living.
In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, its proximity to the sea earned Madras its importance in British India.
It is the very same proximity that also bludgeons its people with floods each year — disrupting lives, damaging homes and devastating livelihoods.
Rural Education and Action for Liberation (REAL) is a Rang De Impact partner that works for the rehabilitation and livelihoods of those affected by floods in the district of Cuddalore.
A total of 924 loans have been disbursed to borrowers associated with REAL amounting to Rs 83.40 lakhs in funding.
In the aftermath of floods, activities that yield quick results are preferred so that normalcy is restored sooner. Goat rearing, dairy farming and cashew de-shelling are some of the popular livelihood choices of the borrowers.
At 49, Rajavairam and her husband run a small grocery store in Arasadikuppam. Until recently, her income used to come from deshelling cashews whenever possible. Her husband used to work as a labourer. Their economic condition took a beating when their eldest son who used to work in a private company lost his job in the wake of the floods in Cuddalore.
By availing a Rang De loan, Rajavairam was able to setup her own business and create a sustainable source of income for her family.
Santhi and her 4-year-old daughter Neelu live in Sanjivariyan Koil. In September 2015, she availed a loan of Rs 8,000 to undertake goat rearing and earn an income that would supplement her husband’s earnings. In an unfortunate turn of events, her husband passed away recently and Santhi now has to not only fend for herself but also for her child.
With no other source of support, Santhi now has an income from goat rearing to fall back on. She even engages in cashew de-shelling to earn extra income. An enterprising young woman, we are certain that she will find new ways to build a stronger livelihood.
REAL has made commendable progress by focusing on a single region but they deal with many problems. In addition to livelihoods, REAL also works with children, farmers and in the area of sanitation. We hope to grow our association with REAL and reach many more underserved individuals in rural Tamil Nadu.
In Tamil Nadu, we have also worked with Just Change India Producers Company (JCIPC) for whom we raised Rs 30 lakhs in the year 2015.
With four shareholders groups covering 25,000 farmer members, JCIPC is a producer company that is engaged in the trading of essential produce and commodities such as paddy, tea, groundnuts, sugar, coconut oil etc. The funds from Rang De helped JCIPC procure large quantities of the members’ producer crops, ensuring higher and consistent returns through a structured supply chain and loyalty incentives.
Working with nearly forty impact partners across different geographies, we have learned that while the challenges may be many and endemic to a region, affordable credit is an important solution to bring constructive change in the lives of the poor.
You can join Rang De as a social investor and join hands in making this change happen.
We are currently raising funds for 173 borrowers in rural Tamil Nadu. You can make a small investment with a big impact by providing affordable microcredit to these individuals from across various villages in the state.