The re-launch of the Rang De Pune chapter that took place officially in September was a pleasant surprise for all of us, i.e. the parent team and investors like me who have been social investors for more than a year and half. There was a distinct positive energy in the air, evident by the fact that our first meeting was attended by more than 25 people, most of whom were eager to help take forward the Rang De cause in Pune. Mr Ajay Hiraskar (Advisor, Rang De Global Chapters) and Mr Chaitanya Nadkarny (President, Rang De) entrusted Mr Jithu Chandran and yours truly with the responsibility to co-lead the Pune chapter for the first six months. We were thrilled and were looking forward to take on this task to promote this novel cause!
The first event that we planned to mark the launch of Rang De Pune chapter was the annual prestigious Pune Running Beyond Myself marathon held on 11th October. It was the last week of September with 2 weeks to go and a plan (conservative in some eyes, but ambitious considering the lack of structure) to raise 1 lakh INR till the run. The work dynamic within the chapter to successfully implement a digital/social media as well as on-ground campaign were unknown to us and hence we kept such a target. We planned a phase wise campaign with creative being designed by Ms Nalini Mangwani. We designed the campaign such that we would count down to the race day and featured one borrower in every creative. The logic behind this was to make the target amount, i.e. 1 lakh INR not seem too big and overwhelming to a potential investor but look like a sum of small amounts that different borrowers needed. Our rationale was that small achievable targets would be fulfilled faster than a big target.
With 2 weeks to go, we launched the campaign and within 10 days we were able to reach 1 lakh INR! This was thrilling and the use of Whatsapp broadcasting as well as Facebook sharing/posting proved very useful.
As for the race day, we were about 6 of us volunteers who ran and volunteered including our Rang De President Chaitanya, Pune chapter co-leads Jithu and I, events committee leads Monica and Ashish Mehra, Ashish Chaskar, Roopesh Kohad and Pankaj Kanchankar. We got banners printed and placards made. Our volunteers ran the entire 5k holding up our banner and placard successfully generating curiosity and interest in Rang De. We distributed bookmarks and talked about Rang De with many people.
All in all, we generated 1,58,600 INR with through 45 contributors. We were able to impact 70 lives. It was a good start to the Pune Chapter and we hope to continue increase the Rang De footprint across Pune and do our share in eradicating poverty from India!
P.S. : On a personal note, it was a good moment for me as I had made a pledge to run 21km barefoot if we crossed 1.5 lakh. So with 1 day to go for the marathon we reached 1.5lakh. So as promised, I ran the 21k barefoot in 2 hours 3 minutes. A few bruises here and there but it was totally worth it! Hope to run for many more rang de campaigns in the future 🙂
Co-Lead, Pune Chapter