Something wonderful happened last week. Internationally famous folk musician Raghu Dixit, our brand ambassador, was invited to perform at O2 Academy at Islington and he even attended a closed-door event where he got to interact with fans.
Not only was this a chance for music fans to connect with Raghu, it allowed the musician to spread the word about our efforts as an organisation to socially conscious Non-Resident Indians in London.
All the arrangements and the organisation, taking weeks of planning, was carried out by a passionate group of volunteers — the Rang De UK Chapter!
From when I was a student, I have strongly believed in the power of an individual and the power of small, committed groups. I had seen the power of collectives create magic during several instances.
When I saw all of this coming true at Rang De, I was simply amazed. In the first year of Rang De’s inception, Ram and I were out there meeting people at start-up camps, blog camps — basically any event where we could connect with people and spread the word about Rang De.
This was a low-tech, high-touch journey that we embarked on in the first year. We were surprised to see how our initial supporters — Social Investors — began to find a natural affinity towards Rang De.
They were drawn to the idea of Rang De, they were inspired by our vision and believed in its potential to bring about a tangible difference in people’s lives.
When this group of early supporters could not contain their excitement and commitment any more, Rang De Chapters were born. They loved us, believed in us so much that they could not help become a part of the journey. Rang De Chapters, therefore, became a natural extension of Rang De. These individuals carried a part of Rang De in their hearts and decided to nurture the idea in their own city, college, institute, company.
The beauty of the Rang De model facilitated the chapters. Our social investors have no boundaries just like Rang De. They could easily replicate the Rang De team in their own city voluntarily. The chapters represented us at events, went on field trips, organised fundraisers — did everything that the Rang De team would do. They did so much that the boundaries between the Rang De team and chapters began to blur.
No one knew where the role of the chapter ended and where the Rang De team began and vice versa.
When one of our Chapter members represented Rang De at an event, someone asked him if he was the founder of Rang De.
Nothing has given me me more joy than this because Rang De is not meant to be held on by a few individuals, it is about everyone finding a way to contribute their time, money, skills or any other form to help make poverty history in India.
And the early energy and traction that our chapters had achieved made me believe that they can be a great way to help spread the word about Rang De.
If you are interested in becoming a Chapter member then please do join our Facebook group and reach out to the Chapter heads in various cities. Do write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us in a leadership capacity and want to start a Chapter group in a new city.
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.