The digital economy can be strongly leveraged to spread financial literacy—one of the biggest components of financial inclusion. Narmada Jhabua Gramin Bank (NJGB) has organised 2,827 Financial Literacy and Capacity Building Camps during 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016. It has also covered 485 SHGs with participation of 3,626 SHG families with 144 literacy programmes involving 53 branches.
In keeping with the government’s Financial Literacy objectives, the NJGB decided to target the student community by appraising them of the benefits of banking and financial discipline and also introduce them to other banking products. NJGB, in one stroke organised 386 one-day financial literacy camps on 27 November 2015, targeting a record 414 schools under its School Champ project. The project covered 81,631 students that has, till date, probably remained the largest ever effort aimed at imparting financial literacy organised by any banking institution.
Financial services needs of an individual vary by age. While these also depend on financial and social status, there is no denying the fact that there is need for financial literacy particularly for poor households. Children initially stay with parents and then go to attend school. It was felt that financial literacy has to start right at the school to prepare them to take future financial decisions. Considering all of these financial services are required at various junctures in life, teaching methods can be identified, particularly for school children (grown-up enough to understand the virtues of savings). The bank designed specific module in the form of literacy material, viz, pamplets, hand-bills, banners, quiz and questionnaire to make them understand basic concept of various financial products.
Following strategies were adopted by the bank to execute School Champ project on 27 November 2015:
1. Identification and mapping of schools associated with respective bank branches.
2. Preliminary alignment meeting of Branch Heads with concerned School Heads to explain the concept.
3. Printing and distribution of literacy material, quiz, question-paper and answer-sheets in a booklet form for the concerned branches.
Under the project the bank provided the soft copy (CDs) of financial literacy material to the school children as well as the school faculty. Hard copies were also provided for reference and further use in future. Alongside, the bank gave detailed demo of biometric and UID based transactions in a live situation using Banking Correspondents. This live demo was given in order to give real-life experience to students to understand technology-based banking.
The project offered introduction to the unique basket of banking services, which the client could avail at his/her doorstep. The range of services introduced included opening of basic savings deposit accounts, fund transfer, overdraft, UID based transactions, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), importance of Aadhaar, social security schemes, recurring and fixed deposits and also awareness about loan products for education, housing and so on.
Whole project was designed and focused towards increasing the level of understanding of targeted group to enable them for better use of banking and financial services. The modules on technology were meant to make students aware of available technology tools for ease of banking.
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