By Ishi Sodhi, Rang De Social Investor
I was born and raised in India. Hence, poverty was never a myth for me. It was a harsh reality that (fortunately) did not affect me directly. I had my own set of problems to deal with which seemed grave then. Some of these included getting into the best school, obtaining highest marks in my class, celebrating my birthday every year of course with a bang. Getting a good education felt like my birth right. Having access to meals four times a day was not an issue for me. Yes, I am your upper middle class girl who had her own set of problems. The obvious question is that why would I be interested in an organization like Rang De?
For me, it was graduating from college and getting into the ‘real world’. I did not have the aptitude to get into IIT and join Microsoft or Google as an Engineer with an astounding figure salary. But, I chose my own path.
It was close to my senior year in college and I still had not found ‘my passion’. I was studying International Relations and knew only one thing. I wanted to work with people from a diverse background (as cliché as it may sound). Again, destiny was in my favor and I found the love of my life (back then)-immigration.
This is how my social investment began. I got involved in helping and interacting with low-income households to obtain U.S. citizenship so they could earn a living in America. This was my volunteer work at a non-profit organization that reaped profits for me once I landed a job with a money making law firm. I was fresh out of college and there was no looking back. I started working like a factory that produced more and more green cards which in turn produced more bonuses for me. I lost in touch with reality and did not know where to stop. My goals now included getting a raise and working hard for the senior position in my team.
Well, life had something different in store for me as I quit this cushy job after four years. Again, my love for immigration did not end here and I started my journey again working at a more sophisticated law practice. Yes, I was making money and did not have to think if I could afford my next meal. It did not matter to me that I did not own a car or even a house. I did not care that I sat in traffic for three hours every day to work. I still considered myself living a comfortable life.
However, even after having all the luxuries of life, the passion was gone. As if, just making money was not enough anymore. I started volunteering again and started to teach English to girls from Burma. Every time I walked into the classroom, it made me realize how blessed I was to be living my life.
Then I was introduced to Rang De through a friend. Honestly, Rang De is a recent discovery for me. But, it should not matter how new I am to this unique online portal. You should be more interested in knowing what it did to me in these past few weeks.
This is a secret that I have the courage to share and I am sure that you are hiding that secret inside too. I was a semi-shopaholic. I did not care for big brands but I did care for the latest trends in an affordable price. I enjoyed buying new clothes every weekend as the market changed trends on me that fast. Every weekend, there was a new color and style in town. From flare jeans to skinny jeans, from sexy black to bold orange, I wanted to have it all. And of course, I was spending enough that I could alone take care of a lot of the loans the borrowers from Rang De required.
But, I am happy to share with you that my shopping spree every weekend is now history just like Rang De’s initiative to make poverty history. I now use the money that I earlier spent on buying clothes to lend to the borrowers. And I am still happy (rather grateful).
Since I discovered Rang De, I rediscovered a fact that even a small amount can go a long way. In other words, a little monetary push could change someone’s life. The micro-credit loan that the social investors would lend is not even close to how much cash most of us drop in a day on buying a single strapless dress or pair of stilettos. Buying a dress for one evening may not take you very far but if you are able to control the urge and lend that money, it could definitely change someone’s life who is in more need of that money than you are of a new dress or a meal at a fancy restaurant.
If you are able to grasp the concept of Rang De, you will come to a realization that this organization is not asking for a donation. In fact, it is giving you the opportunity to help someone in dire need with a very high possibility of making you earn an interest of 2% through this monetary investment.
Now honestly, please tell me who does that? So, I urge you today to put your hand in your wallet and take that hundred rupees note that will change someone’s life forever and maybe yours!