Siddharth Agarwal— The Man Walking Along The Ganga, Raising Awareness And Hoping To Inspire Empathy

January 31, 2017
By Rang De Team
Siddharth Agarwal is one of our 11,000+ Social Investors who help contribute to the micro-capital needs of hundreds of individuals from across the country every month

Siddharth Agarwal is a photographer, a filmmaker, an aerospace engineer from IIT Kharagpur, a dreamer and a social investor. He is also the founder of Veditum, a non-profit research and media organisation that undertakes projects on cultural and environmental issues, seeking to raise awareness about and benefit marginalised communities.

From June to October 2016, he walked 3000 km along the banks of the river Ganga, starting out from the ocean at Sagar island in West Bengal till Garhmukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh and he has been featured in The Times of India, DNA and YourStory.

Life, Passion and His Journey

Siddharth was an intern in Chennai for Rang De as a content developer in 2011 when he was studying at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He worked on one of Rang De’s early online campaigns at the time called Rang De IPL Mania where people were encouraged to pledge social investments based on the performances of their favourite teams and players.

Siddharth now actively incorporates online crowdfunding in his life after seeing us consistently raise funds for low-income communities across India.

“Indian society definitely believes in contributions [for social good]. Most Indians would have put in Rs 20 or 50 rupees ‘chanda’ or ‘contribution’ to their locality festival celebrations in an older form of crowdfunding,” Siddharth told us.

“The intention to donate exists. It is for individuals and organisations to figure out how they will reach out to this audience.”

Siddharth has already worked with us multiple times to help the communities we seek to empower. In one of his online campaigns, he cycled from Kolkata to Mumbai covering a distance of 2500 kms in 30 days and raised nearly Rs 80,000 in the process.

Through two separate stints in December 2014 and 2015, he also walked 700kms from Delhi to Ajmer in Walking Back To My Roots raising over Rs 1.6 lakhs for a weavers’ collective in Jaisalmer.

When looking out for opportunities to learn or explore various overlooked topics, Siddharth realised that they were difficult to find.

Through Veditum India Foundation, Siddharth aims to provide quality opportunities (even if in the short term) in immersive learning and expression through multimedia formats.

He believes that it will be only by providing quality opportunities to young people that we can create a more empathetic and socially aware generation of individuals. Alongside serious research work and long term knowledge gathering as well as media projects in the environmental and cultural domain, he hopes to create positive change in the country through Veditum.

A picturesque moment on one of his adventurous journeys

Building on his belief in the power of crowd-funding, Siddharth ran a campaign to fund the walk along the Ganga that helped bring out stories from the grassroots. He has written plenty of articles highlighting these issues and a book & documentary are also in the works.

Whether it was his article describing the plight of the Ganga or about the Nishad fisherfolk who are fighting for survival, he aims to give a voice to under-represented communities.

Our mission at Rang De is not so different. We aim at more than just raising funds for communities in need of social capital but also to help create an empathetic society.

Siddharth is a prime example of how the Rang De platform can be used as a tool to do social good along with everyday activities. The possibilities are endless if we ever seek to alleviate poverty in our own lives and contribute to the cause of rural development with Rang De your platform of choice.

You can support Siddharth by contributing towards the crowd funding campaign for the second leg of his journey along the Ganga. You can find out more details about Moving Upstream on Veditum.

Many of our social investors have contributed to our online campaigns and have done everything they can to help bring about change and reduce poverty. Do you want to be part of the solution? You can start now by choosing to invest in a borrower of your choice here or write in to us at empathy@rangde.org and we will help you get started!

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