These Gujarat Tribal Women Are Financially Independent, Operating Their Bank Accounts Now
- Raghav Goyal
- Published on 20 Mar 2023, 4:30 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- DM Chhotaudepur, Ms Stuti Charan, is providing them financial literacy under SWATAH
- In special camps they are training in operating ATMs and fill in withdrawal and deposit slips
- In first month of the launch, 1250 women have already become inancially independent
- Women in Chhotaudepur are becoming financially literate
Ushaben Navsinhbhai Rathva, a resident of Dhandhoda village in Chhotaudepur district of Gujarat, has a bank account but doesn’t know how to deposit or withdraw money. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojana almost everybody has a bank account but like Ushaben, few know how to operate them.
Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Ushaben, a housewife who also works on agriculture fields, said, “Earlier, I was couldn’t fill in the cash/cheque deposit form in banks. Every time I had to seek help from others.” This was a very time taking process. Few would step up to help her. Mostly people were in a hurry and often they filled the form incorrectly. Because of this she had to fill the form again and stand in a queue.
Another tribal woman, Nilam Bhaveshbhai Rathva, a resident of Gungavada village, said “I never withdrew from ATM myself. I used to write my ATM pin on a piece of paper and sought people’s help to withdraw money from my account. I always suspected that I could easily be duped by anyone.”
But, things have changed in Chhotaudepur with district administration launching a new programme called – SWATAH (Smart Women Adopting and Harnessing Technology) to educate them on basic banking activities.
SWATAH is the brain child of IAS officer Stuti Charan, DM Chhotaudepur. It is aimed at training them in financial transactions and make them self-dependent. “We are targeting all the women beneficiaries of government schemes – mostly SHGs, women in agricultural activities, members of milk cooperatives, ASHA workers, anganwadi workers etc. These women should have basic literacy so that they can understand what we are trying to teach them.”
Special camps are organised according to the availability of these women and around 35-40 tribal women participate in a SWATAH camp. The aim is to train these women in learning all banking activities like cash deposit and withdrawal, operating passbook, writing cheques and using ATM. “Bank correspondents are training women to fill the forms. With no ATMs in many villages, these women are being trained in withdrawing cash from the Point of Sale (PoS) machines. They are also being trained in cybercrimes and online thefts.”
To gauge the impact of this initiative, the administration is also conducting two tests. The first one is taken before start of training and the other one is after its completion. “This gives us feedback of the extent these women are learning,” Ms. Stuti Charan said.
The district administration has trained over 1250 women and received 935 recorded responses so far.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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