Monday, November 5, 2012

Rang De (https://www.rangde.org/) is a pioneering web based social initiative that supports
rural entrepreneurs with cost effective micro-credit for business and education. Through an
online portal, Rang De enables individuals to become social investors by lending small sums
of money to borrowers from low income households listed on the website.

Launched on 26th January 2008, Rang De’s mission is to knock out poverty in India. So far,
Rang De has raised social investments of Rs. 100.3 Million and impacted more than 17,000
borrowers with the help of 4,200 social investors. Many of these borrowers have been able
to create or expand their business (ranging from cow-rearing to bag-making to managing tea
stalls); while a few others used their loans to pay for the education of their children.

To make this scheme sustainable, Rang De works hand-in-hand with local field partners
(often local NGOs) who identify potential borrowers in local communities. Once the
borrowers’ business plans are analyzed and approved, their profiles are posted on Rang De’s
website where social investors can choose the project in which they may invest as little as Rs.
100!

When social investors invest in borrowers’ projects, not only do they help the borrowers
expand their businesses but they also make the borrowers financially independent and escape
the clutches of poverty. Plus, it is an opportunity for the investor to stimulate grass-root
economic development for the community and the country. This allows the social investor to
enjoy a nominal financial return as well as a tangible social return.

Diwali is just around the corner and in the true spirit of the festival, Rang De has decided to
light up the lives and dreams of many rural entrepreneurs. Join Rang De’s initiative to Light
Up India at www.rangde.org/LUI

Read more about Light Up India at http://lightupindia.rangde.org/. For more information

Registration no. BNG(U)-JPN/170/2007-2008
Operational office : A1102, Ajmera Green Acres, Bannerghatta Road - 560076
Regd. Office: No.42, 3rd Main, Puttenahalli, JP Nagar, 7th Phase, Bangalore – 560078

on how you can get involved in Lighting Up India or Rang De, please get in touch with
smita@rangde.org or sushmita@rangde.org.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Raghu Dixit- A musician turned magician!


Raghu Dixit- A musician turned magician!

When my facebok page had an update about a tour called the “Freedom Bus Tour”, organized by Rang De and supported by Raghu Dixit on Aug 10, I saw an opportunity to meet my icon. I signed up for this tour without even probing the purpose. For me, it was just an intervention by God towards ensuring a fan-idol meeting. I signed up for this tour with a minimum expectation-MEET RAGHU. But then, the experience I had in this tour was mesmerizing. In fact, I gained much more than I expected. I gained knowledge of how poverty is gripping several people in India, even though a lot of us think about India as a ‘developing’ nation. I guess, several villages and towns of this great country are still “underdeveloped”. We boarded the “freedom Bus” on 13 Aug and reached Pusad  on 14 Aug. The locals welcomed us with roses and delicious ‘poha’ . “Pusad” is a small town in the Yavatmal district. I met a few rural women entrepreneurs operating in the food, animal husbandry and basket-broom industry, accompanying my icon. In fact, I turned out to be the only one knowing a little bit of tooti-phooti Marathi in this group. By that virtue, I became the official translator for Raghu and team ie; the “Marathi Manoos”! This team consisted of Gaurav Vaaz from the Raghu Dixit project, Smitha and Ram, who are the co-founders of Rang De and other Raghu Dixit fans.  I enjoyed the moments interviewing the rural entrepreneurs and translating for Raghu. The summary of my inferences from these interactions is: Even people with very few resources can dream big and do big, with a little bit of help and a little encouragement. Raghu Dixit is a social investor with Rang De and firmly believes in the quote, “Be the change you wish to see” and has leaded us (his fans) by example. The tour ended with a fantastic concert by Raghu Dixit for the villagers playing some amazing numbers like “Mysore Se” and “Ninna  Poojege”. I also shared the stage with Raghu Dixit to translate for him and these golden moments will be etched in my memories forever. For me, this was one of my life’s best moments.  The villagers treated us with love, respect and amazingly delicious food. The gratitude was so obvious towards the Rang De team and everyone else who accompanied them. At the end of it all, I felt deeply that the power of social investment is so humongous. It can be a medicine for so many ills that effect people and society like poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. As I headed back home towards Bangalore on the freedom bus, with new found friends and games, a deep sense of satisfaction embraced me for having celebrated this Independence Day, so meaningfully. Just before writing this blog, I invested some amount through Rang De as a token of appreciation and gratitude towards Rang De and Ragu Dixit. Dear Raghu, before this tour, you were just a musician for me. Now, you are a magician for me. I hereby commit that I will work towards this cause of eradicating poverty with all my might and dedication. By Aug 15 2013, I will ensure that at least 50 of my accomplices will invest their resources towards this cause! Thank you once again, Raghu and Rang De. For more information on Rang De please visit: www.rangde.org

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shock-absorbing the steep petrol hike: 10 mantras



1) Reduce travel on bikes and cars
2) Be the catalyst: Spread the message of car pooling at office.If possible, practise before preaching.You message will be taken seriously
3) You can even think of bike pooling.It will work, if you want it to for you.
4) Try cycling for a change, you may love it as well. And then, adapt to it. Do short distances first.
5) If you are making repeated purchases for household, and spend money travelling, decrease the frequency of purchases, stock up things, if you can afford it.
6) Mass transport is not a very bad idea. Try Volvo or metro, and check if it works.
7) Get a petro card/membership card and check if you can get some discounts or offers on petrol purchase. Try to get more miles with less  dimes.
8) If you are thinking of buying a new bike, have electric bikes, as an option. No need of liscence, pollution check etc.
9) Start waking to the ide of walking. Cover short distnces by walk. Locate laundry, grocery which are nearby. Walking is a great exercise, and now you have an official excuse to wak more.
10) All the above measures taken in a group, are best implemented. We are social animals after all. In groups, you have mutual support, encouragement, inspiration, and abuse in a few cases. Something or the other will surely work for you.

This month end, I will buy a new bicycle possibly with my salary. How about you???????