Why A Social Worker Made The Switch To Technology

September 22, 2016
By Rang De Team
With borrowers from Andhra Pradesh during a field trip in March 2016

Born and raised in Chittapur, a small town in Gulbarga district in Karnataka, we did not have access to good educational institutions. I studied in a Kannada medium government school and learnt to speak in English only about five years ago.

After I completed my BA from Gulbarga University, I received a free seat for a Master’s degree in Social Work. This put me in a dilemma because I had to choose between social work and technology, the two things I was very passionate about.

Technology fascinated me. I had never owned a computer before but I had studied computer courses in my town. I also wanted to do something for society. I always wondered if I could do something where there was a balance of both.

Working for society using technology

I always had one aim and that was knowing more about computers than a normal person. It was okay if I knew less than an engineer.

I chose to pursue a Master’s in Social Work and even participated in a fellowship at the Deshpande foundation in Hubli. One of the modules of this course was on technology and networking and this gave me an opportunity to understand and explore my passion.

I got into Rang De through a campus placement and joined on September 10, 2012.

Four years ago, Rang De was a very small team and everyone pitched in and helped whenever necessary. Even though my primary work was in the Impact team and I had to interact with borrowers and field partners, I got a chance to work with the finance team and the software engineers.

I started helping with simple things like writing MySQL queries and from there on, I learnt and increased my capabilities.

For the first year, I worked behind the scenes handling work for the Impact team from the office and was then given a chance to go on the field. The 11 field trips that I went to have changed me completely.

Pramod has met borrowers from across various states and strongly feels Rang De is making a serious impact

By going on a field trip (see our upcoming ones here), it connects you more strongly to the cause.

But I do not regret my decision of joining the technology team. I am still working for the same cause — poverty eradication in India, a cause I have been connected with for years.

I have been on two field trips since I joined the Tech team (see our openings at our Tech Careers page) on April 1, 2016. The frequency of my trips has reduced but I am glad I still get to work for the same cause and for the same people.

People in rural areas still keep books manually. Partners visit borrowers and write their stories on paper. Imagine if these people had access to computers or tablets, their life would be so much easier and faster.

But only having technology is not enough. It is necessary to motivate people and teach them how to use gadgets. Rang De has the power and resources to do this. We do not just give people loans, we train them and give them an opportunity at a better life.

Partners in rural areas receive training about how to use technology to speed up their work.

Visiting our Impact partner Kalamandir in Jharkhand in November 2015

A call for developers who want to make a difference

For an organisation that is dependent on technology and the internet to operate, we lack developers.

Honestly, I feel that a developer who works at Rang De should have a sense of the social sector. They should be aware of why and what they are working for and how their work impacts the lives of others.

IT professionals who have worked in the corporate sector have quit and joined Rang De because they want to bring about a change in people’s lives. They want to help bring people out of poverty and want to work for the betterment of society.

This drive and motivation to do good for society is extremely crucial while working in the social sector because here it is not about earning money.

If you have the skill and intend to use it for doing something for society then Rang De is the best place to be at. Usually, you are expected to work in the field in which you are qualified in but here you get a chance to explore your interests.

I got a chance to explore mine and now I have been working as a front-end developer for over five months.

In the end, what matters is that you should do what you enjoy. Here at Rang De, you get the opportunity to do the work that you like.

It will help you find your passion and interest while making a difference as well.

Pramod was previously with the Impact team but has now switched over to front end development and joined the Tech team at Rang De. 

Pramod is one of our oldest employees and has shared why rural entrepreneurs inspire him and all the emotions he has experienced on his travels across India in other blog posts.

Choose to make a difference by investing through Rang De’s new platform rangde.in.