It wasn’t a long ride, not by a long shot but it was a morning like no other. Deepak and I were riding to #FightPoverty. While many such drives and charity rides have happened with the aim of raising awareness; few have been able to actually help the poor with what they need the most – money. This was a charity ride with a difference.
ScoutMyTrip was both fortunate and honored to have been part of one of the few. We raised over one lac rupees in a week which we hear is a record of sorts for a charity ride.
To be part of a cause like this was always close to the both of us as founders of ScoutMyTrip. We come from modest backgrounds ourselves; and being entrepreneurs we know how much it means to get the seed capital to make it big. Rang De does just that.
Instead of simply lending money, Rang De completes the cycle by enabling them with vocational training on ground and teaching them business skills which keeps them ahead of the curve.
To be honest, when we started the ride on the Saturday morning 4th February we had raised about 22,000 rupees and we weren’t confident of raising the entire amount. But once we started posting live videos of the journey and got everyone involved there was no looking back.
We first rode to Pabal, home to Vigyaan Ashram. NH4 is a good highway, but all hell broke loose when we entered Chakan. It was a mess, but we managed to exit in good time to finally reach Pabal after asking around for directions. Pawan Soni, who manages the center gave us a lot of dope on what’s happening there. It was a revelation, on how much work is being done at the grass roots level.
We made a quick stop for lunch en-route. We were a tad bit disappointed here because we were really hoping for some local cuisine. Rural Maharashtra is dotted with joints which serve some of the best dishes. And they’re very spicy. Just the way, I like them.
We now headed to meet Jayesh, ahead of Shikrapur. After going through many kaccha rastas, and finally a dirt track which would have put some of the best racing tracks to shame we reached Shindewasti, abode of the humble entrepreneur – Jayesh.
An enterprising fellow, who took a loan from Rang De after graduating from Vigyaan Ashram had started just a goat farm but had also started growing garlic and peanuts. We spent a couple of hours here to finally head back to our hotel room to call it a night.
The second day of the charity ride included a quick stop over to Pune where we caught up with the chapter heads of Rang De in Pune – Chaitanya (Chai), Shrivatsa and Rupesh. A lovely discussion over coffee in one of the iconic cafes; we learned a lot about the work done there.
By the time the meeting had started we had raised around 75,000. By the time we had hit Khandala on the way back to Mumbai, we had raised the lac we had set out initially!
The money raised has reached 30 beneficiaries. 49 people contributed towards this cause – The #FightPoverty Ride. Check out the Official campaign page and don’t miss the official blog post by Rang De which has a detailed account of this trip. All the above videos are also available on a playlist.
We finally leave you with this short video of the charity ride.