Stories about how social investing enables community to be sustainable.

Telling stories makes us human.

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Leslin K Seemon
Apr 15
Through many windows of life, poured countless stories.

A few anecdotes of how social investing helped remote communities persevere.

We are all about stories. Wonder how?

Cause even when we sleep, the mind stays up all night telling itself stories.

Stories have a way of transporting us, where our mind opens up to new experiences and perceptions of other people and how they think and feel. Stories help us transcend and create connections.

The third session of Impact Dialogues was all about stories of life. Because no matter how many alternatives we have today due to technology, we’ll still crave stories to make sense of the world because without them, we lose perspective on what matters.

‘Impact Dialogues’ came in as a forum to bring stories from our communities to the forefront. Stories from the deep coves of society, remote tribal villages and disconnected communities. About people who can hitch their wagon to a star or are hell-bent on persevering through their tribulations. The kind of stories that can put things into perspective but are often unheard.

This blog encapsulates two anecdotes from a pool of stories shared by different communities across India. It takes us back to the time when the pandemic started. While we worried over the drastic changes and the finite options, for many, it was a matter of getting that gruel before sundown.

One such incident was narrated by Saraswati Devi, a representative of a women’s federation that has 12, 636 women participating from 11 different communities. She shared with us the ordeals they faced when the lockdown was imposed.

They were in despair as there wasn’t enough money to do farming and make revenue lest it comes to survival. Rang De’s social investors came in as a relief when the community was introduced to interest-free loans by our Impact Partner – Sarva Seva Samity Sanstha 

They call it to be a blessing. 

Listen to Saraswati’s story here

The next story sprouts from Papadahandi, Orissa. Laxmi’s brimming smile spoke volumes of her win over the challenging  times.

As she recalls, the lockdown restrictions gave her community no options to seek credit. With a moratorium on banks and MFIs, the chain got entirely disrupted. 

She says taking a loan from ‘Sahukars’ i.e., local moneylenders was the only alternative and like any other borrower, she traded for material loans and gave the produce in return. Making a loss of Rs 500-700 per quintal.

With the intervention of our partner – Harsha Trust, they got interest free loans from Rang De. The procurement of high yield seeds, the choices they could make, the financial freedom they experienced all was the boon of social investing. Ultimately it enabled her to sell the harvest at Rs 1860 per quintal in the mandi. Booking profits in a rather tumultuous period of her life.

Now as she shares her story, gratitude and happiness ebb in her emotions. Watch here.

For more such inspiring and heartening stories, leave a mail at leslin@rangde.in and I’ll make sure to loop you in for the next session of Impact Dialogues.

Author’s note: As a digital storyteller at Rang De, I watch these sessions over and over to sew a meaningful narrative. Each time I do, I feel the emotions being shared behind the stories. The slight awe of a tribal woman seeing herself on a digital screen, the raw and unfiltered anecdotes shared in their regional language, the happiness of being a part of something or the connection to the outside world. It puts me into perspective, pulls me out of the ‘urban-life equation’ & makes me think, there’s a whole different world that ought to be heard. 



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