"Financial Literacy in Rural India Needs to Be Continuous and Adaptive"
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Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Digital India mission has ushered ideas around helping people in rural areas become digitally empowered. Today, digitally powered identity proof and platforms have empowered every citizen to facilities that were unknown to them previously.
Bangalore-based not-for-profit organization Rang De is working to fight poverty and help provide micro-loans to the underserved communities. It empowers social investors and corporates to fund rural entrepreneurs across the country.
Talking to Entrepreneur, Range De Co-founder and CEO Ramakrishna NK, spoke about the value of financial literacy for rural folks in India.
Talking about bringing social investors, he said that these investors mostly look for social returns. For us the way we define them, is that when they see a lot of transparency is where the money is going they realize that this money is not just a charity factor. They are clearly not coming here to get financial returns, they are only here for social returns, he adds.
Rang De launched Swabhimaan, an initiative to provide financial and customised, affordable credit to rural India.
Ways to improve financial literacy in rural India
There are two main ways – it has to be continuous and adaptive; because one size fits all will never work in this case.
They need to be trained on a continuous basis and they need to be incentivised, just like we would like to be incentivised. There has to be a reward at the end of the day and these can be both; social and financial rewards.
Speaking about easy and adoptive technology, android, tablets and mobile phones are great. But what really makes the difference is the content. Content helps in localizing the theory behind our mission. We need to pay special attention to adapt the content according to the needs of the community and have a human centred design.
Rang De plans to scale up the initiative to over 100 centres within a year. As part of the pilot program, the company will launch the first of Swabhimaan’s centre at Yeshwantpura village on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Wednesday.