India celebrated its 66th Independence Day on Aug 15 but how many Indians indeed felt the essence of freedom. Here are few young boys and girls who have experienced the freedom. A group of 43 people joined the Freedom Bus Concert, a unique initiative of Rang De, to celebrate the independence day in a different way.
Rang De, a Bangalore based non-profit that provides low cost loans to under-served communities, came up with the idea and Raghu Dixit, a social investor and brand ambassador of Rang De, added colour to their concept of celebrating Aug 15 in a completely different way with music, conversation with the aam-aadmi (common man) who hardly get a chance to celebrate or convey their opinions on some special occasion.
The group began their journey from Bangalore on Aug 13 and reached their destination Pusad on Aug 14, covering close to 2000 kms. The group consisting of young men and women spent more than 72 hours sharing their views on society, change and empowerment.
Mr Dixit expressed his desire to communicate with his borrowers in Pusad, a small town in the heart of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra where Rang De supports many families.
The groups took off to interact with borrowers who had taken loan from Rang De or in whose business Mr Dixit had invested money.
As they interacted with the borrowers, many of them realised the importance of credit in economic empowerment and understood the impact of Rang De and its field partner's work in supporting rural entrepreneurs.
More than 400 people from Rang De's borrower community attended the musical concert by Mr Dixit. Vijay Padaguri, one of the riders who joined Rang De's Freedom Bus Ride, said, "It has always been a dream of mine to interact with and watch Raghu Dixit live! But this trip was so much more. The initial realisation that some parts of India are still gripped with poverty was very disheartening but after seeing the impact that Rang De is having on the lives of these people, I can see the humongous power that social investment has. With a little help and encouragement, these entrepreneurs can also dream big!"
Rang De, which started its Freedom Bus Ride to do something unique, saw the beginning of new friendships, a greater belief in social change and a collective will which India needs the most at this moment.