March 2020, even though the virus had entered the country, citizens had not foreseen the devastation this virus would cause the world over and in our country. When the numbers started to rise in India, many countries were already in lockdown for months, and India followed suit. There was a nationwide complete lockdown for three months and restrictions started easing only by mid-June.
1.38 billion people of this country were suddenly faced with an uncertain future. But the most affected were the rural communities, especially small and marginal farmers. They were left with unsold harvested Rabi crops, with no buyers, no access to market and no money to put it in safe storage and no money in hand to buy the inputs for the Kharif season. While the Government did release some relief funds and measures, most of these small and marginal farmers did not have the means to access the funds, many of them are tenant farmers and do not own land and therefore do not have Kisan Credit Cards, issued by the government to access funds allocated by the government.
These farmers were in dire need of funds to sustain their lives and livelihoods. That’s when ‘Rang De India’ was launched, to raise interest free loans for small and marginal farmers.
As a part of the campaign Rang De, an RBI regulated NBFC P2P and NDTV came together to telecast a 2-hour long telethon, with participation from farmer communities, corporates, and celebrities. The telethon was watched by millions across the country and received an overwhelming response.
5000 citizens came together to stand in solidarity for one cause, to support these farmers, who put food on our table. Citizens came together to make social investments via Rang De, to be facilitated as loans to our farmers across the country.
5700 small and marginal farmers across the country received these loans, most of them first-time borrowers on a formal platform. Rang De works with impact partner organizations, mostly NGO’s to reach out to the communities. 19 organizations across 14 states were part of this campaign and over 24 thousand lives were impacted. The majority of the funds have already been repaid to social investors.
This was possible because of the power of social investing and the coming together of social investors for this noble cause.
While we thought that we were in revival mode and the country would slowly pick up all economic and agricultural activities, the second wave of the pandemic hit us hard. Last year the impact was on livelihoods due to the lockdown and not so much on lives. But as we speak, the lives of rural communities are at high risk, they need funds to tide over this crisis.
Yet again, we are launching an interest free loan campaign and your support alone can make this a success. The funds will be used by these farmers for their immediate farming needs and also to sustain themselves and their families.
We continue to support our farmers and we need you to join in to revive the lives and livelihoods of small and marginal farmers across the country.
You can join in as a social investor and support a farmer in rural india. To Invest: https://rangde.in/india