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India! I dare you to be rich

“Light Up India”: Rang De campaign from 16 October to 16 November

I received a request to support Rang De. FTI member Shantanu works closely with this organisation. I'm pleased to publish this post, to do my mite to increase its reach.
 
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Rang De (https://www.rangde.org/) is a pioneering web based social initiative that supports rural entrepreneurs with cost effective microcredit for business and education. Through an online portal, Rang De enables individuals to become social investors and lend small sums of money to borrowers from low income households listed on the website. The social investors get back their money with a nominal financial return and a tangible social return.
 
Rang De proudly presents its borrower Wall of Fame (http://on.fb.me/RFV1hE) – to pay a tribute to the hardworking, aspirational women who have received Rang De loans. These are stories of women who have pushed their boundaries and done something extraordinary in the limited socio economic space that they have. Their stories are inspirational!
 
Meet Hajira (http://bit.ly/RJzgNK) who was elected to be the President of her Self-Help Group because her fellow members believed her to be an exemplary leader! With the help of a Rang De loan and some of her own savings she kickstarted her business of cow-rearing.  From the savings from this business, Hajira prudently invested in banana cultivation. The result being that she is now able to send both her 2 children. Things are going so well at home that she says she doesn’t need loans anymore.
 
In West Bengal, Bulti Bag (http://bit.ly/T4c3t6) expanded her artificial flower making business. The flowers that are in great demand in urban areas is the market she capitalises on for her business. Bulti is clearly a Multi-tasker because she now also cultivates and sells vegetables. Bulti’s husband also supports her in her ventures.
Fathima Suhara (http://bit.ly/RGjxzk) was a pleasant surprise. Not just because of the branding effort that she has put in for spices, but the meticulous accounts that she maintains for her business. Spices are packaged in little packets with the branding of ‘Best quality’ which she then sells to the local shops. She is truly The Entrepreneur!
Sumitra Kahar (http://bit.ly/VhbqQe) from Jhabua in Madhya Pradeshan is an extremely hard-working fisher woman who we now call our Super woman. She used the loan to purchase raw material for fish nets and to buy dry fish. Thanks to good rainfall this year, she is getting good sale of her fish nets and looking for a next loan of Rs. 10,000. All of her three kids are going to school and making good progress.
 
Most of our women are Ms. Do-it-all’s. They are often juggling between kids, household chores and running multiple businesses to make ends meet. Asha certainly tops the list (http://bit.ly/RGjLqg) and her husband used the Rang De loan to better stock their stall. As her business improved with the help of a Rang De loan they could hire a third person to help serving clients. Asha also bought a sewing machine and started to take tailoring assignments. As their savings increased, they opened a recurring deposit in the nearby Post Office. Both of them expect their business to expand and focus on educating their two children.
 
In Tamil Nadu, A Selvi (http://bit.ly/RJzXGR) runs a soft drink and chat centre close to the famous Murugan temple where pilgrims stop to rejuvenate. She used the Rang De loan to replace her broken pushcart with a mobile wooden stall that also has storage space. Her earnings can go up to as high as Rs.500 or Rs.1000 per day. She always keeps in mind that she must make the best of the festive season and save up for the rainy days.
 
In Jharkhand, Saraswati Devi (http://bit.ly/ThIF4M) used her Rang De loan to set up a Village Level Service Centre (VLSC) and was felicitated for her work. She has also been nominated for the “Anita Sen Memorial Award”. She expects to set up a grocery store to provide the community with agricultural inputs and market information. She is determined to make it a success and that’s what makes her the Rang De’s Role Model!
Rang De is about helping women like them overcome poverty. You too can support women who can go on to become Superstars in their own right and role models for their own community. Join Rang De’s initiative to Light Up India this Diwali. For more information on how you can get involved in Lighting Up India with Rang De, please get in touch with smita@rangde.org or sushmita@rangde.org.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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