Bank of Jawhar, a bank by children

Tribal citizens are often cheated in banking and monetary transactions. Earlier it used to be money-lenders, now it has grown to other spaces. There are some people standing outside banks in tribal towns, who offer to write the withdrawal slips. They charge a flat rate of Rs. 20. The person buying this service often withdraws a small amount say Rs. 200 to 500. Even literate/schooled people do not know how to fill this slip and withdraw money from a bank account. If withdrawal is found so difficult by people, other functions like opening an account, taking a loan, choosing and buying a bank product remain too out of hand.

But the students of high-school in the remote village Medha would not have these problems. Vayam’s team took 20 students to a bank in Jawhar and involved the manager to explain all functions of the bank. These 20 students put up a mock bank in their school and remaining 70 students learnt the functions by actually opening mock accounts, writing withdrawal slips, and so on… Financial inclusion of all Indian citizens in the banking system certainly needs such small and smart activities.

Vayam team is running a ‘Life Skills curriculum’ (जीवन शिक्षण कार्यक्रम) for 9th Students in a remote tribal village, Medha (Tq. Jawhar). This curriculum takes one hour on Saturdays in the high school and introduces many things that the textbooks miss but life doesn’t. It includes techniques bringing precision in agriculture, knowledge of how the local government (Gram Panchayat) functions, deciphering the electricity bill, using scientific methods in rural daily life, and so on.

Vayam is inviting donations and volunteers to continue and replicate this program next year. (write to project coordinator: medeepali at gmail)