The ‘ironman’ of Rang De

August 28, 2017
By Rang De Team
Srivatsa Mahesh taking part in a half-marathon barefoot to support RangDe’s cause of Fighting Poverty

What does it take to run a half-marathon barefoot? For one, it takes a very determined individual and second, it takes a cause he truly believes in. Srivatsa has not only done this but also completed the half-iron man run earlier this June, all to support Rang De’s cause of fighting poverty. A member of Rang De’s Pune’s chapter, Srivatsa is one of our most passionate and committed social investors.

Srivatsa, a mechanical engineer by profession, first came across Rang De in 2012, during the course of an internship in Switzerland. He started investing with Rang De in 2013, eventually starting Rang De’s Pune Chapter in 2015.

Asked about the reason for investing with Rang De, Srivatsa says “I like Rang De because their work is in line with my ideas about empowerment, especially financial empowerment of people”

Initially, Srivatsa was also involved with other organisations, but over time he felt that the Rang De model was more sustainable.

“With Rang De, you are not just giving money away, you are investing in income generating activities.”

Srivatsa’s participation in marathons is part of the work he does as a member of Rang De’s Pune chapter. The members of the Pune chapter meet regularly to raise social investments for Rang De, and the marathons are just one of many activities they conduct.

Srivatsa is actively involved in social causes, but his activism is geared towards tangible outcomes. “What happens with a lot of people meet for social causes is that you end up having a social gathering with little effect on lives at the grassroots.With Rang De, we’re clear that actual involvement happens when you invest”

Srivatsa completed the “Half-Ironman” in June earlier this year.

This belief has a direct impact on the style of functioning of the Pune Chapter. Every month, one member of the chapter is given the responsibility of selecting a group of borrowers on from areas that interest them. All the members then get together and attempt to raise the loans. “I personally support borrowers from Uttarakhand because I worked in the states during the flood of 2013 and that is something close to my heart”, Srivatsa says

After successfully completing the Ironman triathlon last month, Srivatsa is already looking forward to the next event.

Srivatsa has simple advice for all those who are training to participate in long distance running events

Rang De’s Pune Chapter is participating in “Pune Running Beyond Myself” (PRMB), an event taking place in November and aims to get people to run for a cause.

When asked for advice for anyone trying to take up running, Srivatsa said “Run for a cause, because when you are running for a cause or something bigger than yourself, it gives you an incentive to complete the race.”

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