“We recognise that financial inclusion is a key driver for economic development at national level and economic empowerment at an individual level. It's a human right of the modern age.”
- David Lewis, Former Lord Mayor of the City of London, at a seminar in Mumbai in 2007
India boasts of a comprehensive and robust financial system that has supported the economic progress the country has seen in the last two decades. But despite this growth, vast swathes of urban slums population still languish without access to formal financial services – a report by BCG (Boston Consulting Group) in 2007 suggested that with barely 34 percent of its population engaged in formal banking, India had the second highest number of financially excluded households in the world at about 135 million.
About Sita Devi Foundation:
Sita Devi Foundation (SDF) is a social enterprise was formed in 2002 by a group of experienced professionals from the field of engineering,social sectors,academics who believes in financial inclusion as potential tool for poverty alleviation for financially challenged urban poor..
It is important for poor to take that vital first step towards awareness and understanding of financial products for their well being and for that of their family.’SDF’ aims to empower underprivileged and teach them how to manage their finances by taking control of their lives. ‘SDF’ aims to give them confidence and knowledge to enable them to make their own financial decisions. We look forward to making a positive change in these families’ lives through this partnership”.
Sita Devi Foundation stands by them to make them smile and live a life of dignity and progress towards self sustaining.
About the Proposed Activity(Project Purpose/Objectives) :
- Financial Litearcy & Knowledge Camp for financially challenged Urban Ultra Poor
-To spread across community some of the following simple messages of day to day finance.
Why Save?Why invest? Why insure?Why you will need regular stream of income post working life –pension? Why save or invest regularly and consistently? Why insure fully? Why save with banks? Why borrow within Limits?What is the difference between saving and investment? Why borrow for income generating purposes?Why repay loans? Why repay loans in time? Why do you need insurance? What is interest? How moneylenders charge very high interest rates?
-building knowledge, skills and attitudes to become financially literate,introducing people to good money management practices with respect to earning, spending, saving, borrowing and investing.
-to enable people to shift from reactive to proactive decision making and work towards fulfilling their financial goals..
-to develop confidence, knowledge and skills to manage financial products and services enabling them to have more control of their present and future circumstances.
-help in protecting society and individuals against exploitative financial schemes and exorbitant interest rate charged by moneylenders.
-to avoid over-indebtedness, improve quality of services and make wise financial decisions.
Marginalized & poor urban population save, borrow and make payments throughout their lives in most unorganized way.
In order to bring marginalized & poor urban population into the mainstream we organize ‘Financial Literacy & Education Camps’ designed to provide financially challenged urban ultra poor the knowledge and tool they need to save well, moderate risk and make informed and wise financial decisions.
We conduct 2-3 hrs. of session for 3-days of maximum 20-participants per camp with total 15-camps (300-urban ultra poor) in which SDF teaches cash flow management, budgeting(income & expenditure), saving options, debt management, debt negotiation, financial literacy as a life skill,differentiation between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, mechanics of loans/EMI components as well as competent use of banking facilities(ATMs, SMS alerts and cheque books),healthy investments and retirement funds in simplistic manner with the help of charts, videos, leaflets, role play, flip charts and financial diaries.
Budget for 1-camp for 3-days (20-persons) : Rs.12000/-
Financially challenged urban poor viz. rickshaw puller,thelawala,daily wage workers, barber, house maids, street side eateries, small biz owners etc. of Paharganj,Sadar Bazar and adjoining slum pockets of Delhi
The most principal benefits of aboved Financial Literacy & Education Awareness Camp:
It will enable households to attain higher standards of personal as well as household savings and dramatically reduce the vulnerability of any unforeseen future financial hardship and risk due to any reasons.
Encourage discussion and action on other community’s issues
The overall objective of the above programme was to ensure better quality of life.
Output of the project
Peoples capabilities foe self-development enhanced
Sustainable improvement in livelihood base
In determining the impact to be achieved , it is worth noting that during implementation the primary focus of our financial literacy activities gradually shifted from providing training to the broader aim of empowerming and social improvement through the solidarity of economically disadvantaged people.
(a) Poverty Impact :
Beneficiary families would see a substantail rise in their incomes during implementation and reduced the vulnerability of member households to social and environmental calamities and to seasonal fluctuations in income and expenditure,and dependence on money lenders considerably reduced.Higher incomes lead to improved food and nutrition,health care and education of household members.
Major micro level Poverty Impact are :
(i) smoothing consumption ;
(ii) buffer aginst avoidable expenditure ;
(iii) safety of assets from major disruptions ;
(iv) better incomes ;
(v) rational utilization of saving ;
(vi) freedom from clutches of moneylenders;
(vii) increase in risk taking ability;
(viii) enlarges livelihood opportunities;
(ix) improved self esteem and sense of elevation.
(b) Social Impact :
Perhaps the single most striking result of our financial literacy activities would be (probably) seen in the remarkable increase in opportunities for disadvantaged young people to come out and enter the public domain. It introduces a new mindset,which lead many young person to broaden their field activities.
Outcomes & Impact of aboved Financial Literacy & Education Programme
Increase in average monthly income and savings of borrowers as a result of the proposed assistance.
We’ve seen that the monthly income of beneficiary increased by 20% per month and they get some extra surplus in their hand which they save for their better future and emergencies.
The initiatives of the SDF guided by the following principles:
- Ensure care for all stakeholders in implementing its core programmes as well as aboved financial literacy activities.
-SDF will remain committed to protecting the interests of all its partners and stakeholders including donors,employees,targeted beneficiaries,communities and the society at large.
-Undertake ethical business practices building on the existing systems for maintaining transparency and accountability.
-Technology will be used to facilitate fair and transparent processes ,; equitable access to all public interest information provided by uploading all relevant information on SDF’s official website(www.sitadevifoundation.org/projects)
- Promote healthy workplaces and maintain commitment to quality, health and safety in every aspect of programme execution.
- Ensure environmental consideration and initiatives as an integral aspect of project processes.
- Promote equality of opportunity and diversity of workforce throughout programme operations.