By Raghav Parthasarathy, Rang De Bangalore Chapter Member
I was running in the Sunfeast Bangalore Marathon Open 10K, when all of a sudden a person running alongside me asked me “Are you a part of Rang De? Has Smita come? I was her classmate” and the next thing he said was “You guys are doing an amazing job”. The feeling was great! Being appreciated for supporting a wonderful cause and spreading awareness about Rang De’s microcredit model. This was what we hoped for when we decided to participate in the run. The idea to run for Rang De at the Sunfeast World 10K first occurred during a chapter meet at Jaaga and it seems we’ve done a good Job.
Bangalore Chapter members who got together for the sunfeast marathon take a short break with a snap.
Arjun Zacharia, Pranay Prateek, Sreekanth, Namita and myself, Raghav Parthasarathy of the Bangalore Chapter of Rang De participated in the event to spread awareness about Rang De. We reached the venue early in the morning and setup our banners. We felt we were well set to receive a large audience. However, we were constantly on the move and targeted places that offered good visibility. Namita and Sreekanth managed the stall at all times. The other members joined them before and after their respective runs. Namita demonstrated the use of RangDe.Org using her laptop to several folks and this would definitely go a long way in helping them understand the Rang De model of micro-lending. The masterstroke, if the word may be used here, was to move to the junction near the Coffee Day square where we could reach out to a lot of runners and supporters relaxing over a cuppa after the marathon.
Bangalore Chapter Member Arjun speaks to a couple of people about the Rang De model out side the CCD sqaure. Many runners took rest over there after the run.
One thing that was evident during our interaction with various people was that most people are aware of the concept of microcredit. They were keen to know more about how Rang De managed to lend at low interest rates. This is where we could pitch in about maintaining low operations cost and about our active volunteer groups that handle several activities. As Rang De grows into a much bigger organization catering to a much larger audience, the volunteer group under the guidance of the Rang De team must take up greater responsibilities to ensure the success of our model.
Last, but not the least, these Chapter members were able to raise close to thirty thousand rupees in social investments in the run-up to the marathon, by getting family and friends to invest in the borrowers of their choice!
One girl I spoke to asked me “How old is Rang De?” and I replied “3 Years”. She was quick to say “Oh Congratulations!”. The Rang De baby is slowly growing up. We have already made a huge impact in the lives of thousands of borrowers and are entering into fields such as education and training. The Rang De kid is all set to Run!