Social investor stories: T P Janani roots for empowermentWhy Rang De’s unique model appeals to social investors.
“One thing I like about Rang De is the approach that they have taken towards helping or supporting people. The very idea that it is not handout based, is something interesting.” This endorsement is from T P Janani, a lawyer based out of Hyderabad in Telangana and one of Rang De’s social investors.
Janani doesn’t remember how she heard about Rang De or when she made her first contribution to the organization. She was interested in the work of the organization because the whole concept of providing funds to help people, the “empowerment-based concept”, as she puts it, really intrigued her.
She understood that the individuals Rang De supported had the will to take up productive livelihoods, but not the means. Experiencing the Rang De model first-hand, she saw how simply providing access to low-cost finance and providing knowledge could bring change.
“It is more like you are providing an enabling environment to help them come up with a platform. If you look at the overall interest rate that they are charged, which is usually about ten percent, it is comparable to the interest rates charged by banks,” she says.
The other thing that excited Janani was the high repayment rate of the organization and the “professionalism” in the process of disbursing the microcredit. Janani says, “There is practically a ninety-plus percentage of repayments, which is quite high. When you look at the situation today, even big commercial organizations don’t have that strike rate.”
A cut above the rest
The transparency of the organization when it comes to the loans is also appreciated by Janani. She recalls an incident when she received a phone call from an individual who claimed to be working for a government verified NGO, asking for a donation. She made a small contribution at the time but in retrospect, there were several warning signs that something was off: the purported urgency of the situation, the repeated brandishing of credibility, the insistence on making an immediate donation.
Much later, scrolling through the web, she came across one blog post, then another, about NGOs in India who are on the government list but in reality are scamming people.
“It struck me later that I might not have done the right thing,” Janani says.
Many social investors like Janani have supported Rang De through the years who are involved with the organization after vetting the whole process of the organization first hand.
Compared to the specious background of organizations soliciting funds through phone calls, Janani says that she approves of the ways that Rang De takes to engage its contributors through transparency and trips to the field. “Even though I have not been part of one, I am aware there are opportunities where you reach out to people and tell them we are having a field visit to such and such a place, and askthem to join”
T P Janani was a social investor on the older platform, rangde.org. We thank her for her faith in us as a social investor.
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