Financial Literacy Centres
Financial Literacy Centres is a flagship program of Sukalyan which are ideally located in the densely populated and easily accessible areas in village to serve maximum rural communities at a time. Each centre covers at least 15 villages with typically 2500- 3500 households in a year. These centres are selected after a thorough need assessment with the primary indicators of non-accessibility of banking services, low savings habit among the communities and lack of access to information on Govt. schemes and primary entitlements.
To facilitate financial knowledge building and easy access to financial services.
To provide financial counseling services in a non-intimidating environment using local languages.
To provide education on financial planning, responsible borrowing, proactive and early savings, debt counseling, micro pension and insurance.
To take up any other activity that promotes financial literacy, awareness about banking services, financial planning and amelioration of debt related distress of an individual.
Workshops at FLC
Facilitating Linkage services
Workshop on Basic Financial Literacy going on at Kamrup FLC, Assam
Village level Awareness Session
Informative Film Screening
Door to Door Visit
Basic Financial literacy,
Investment and Insurance,
ATM & Bank Branch exposure visit
Advocacy with Bank, Gram Panchayat, PO and Block Office
Assistance in application and submission
Follow-up visit to respective linkage authority
Home visit of beneficiaries
Ensuring the receipt of schemes/services
Recording the documents
A standardised training approach with five modules has been developed through rigorous experiment with community to keep as simple as possible in local languages and systems. The Women are outreached through village promotion events by mobilisers and then invited to participate in the series of Workshops based on the module mentioned above. At the end of the workshops the women are mobilised to enrol in the existing government social security schemes. In between the workshops regular home visits are conducted by mobilsers and Centre staffs to build rapport and provide one-to-one financial counselling.
Bankura, Purulia & Jhargram District in West Bengal
Nalbari & Kamrup District in Assam
Khordha & Puri District in Odisha
Khowai District in Tripura
Impact so far
In 2019-2020, more than 4000 women participated in the workshops at various FLC Locations
73% of women who never saved money have started savings after participating in the FLC programs
45% of Women have started using ATM by themselves.
38% of Women who never visited Bank started regularly visiting Banks.
FLC program through its Credit linkage activity was able to facilitate micro-loan to 102 Women through a Microfinance company where more than 25 lakhs of loans were provided to the said women.
Village level awareness session going on at Khordha FLC, Odisha
A woman participant came for enrolling under a Govt scheme at Bankura FLC, West Bengal
Story of Mandodara Dei
Mandodari Dei, an active Member of Subhadra Mahila Mandal belong from Saripur village in Balipatna Block of Khordha, Odisha. She is very active in various welfare activities done in her village. Though she did not complete her education but she always interested in learning new things. When she was 18 years, she got married.
In the month of September 2019, she attended one of our village level promotion meeting followed by workshops in Khordha FLC. She is also working as a Sarapanch of newly formed Athantara Gram Panchayat. She shared that participating in the FLC have helped her in gaining new learnings and knowledge on different state and central government welfare insurance schemes, banking management systems and how to utilize and save money for future. She also said that, as a Sarapanch, she would discuss and inform at the monthly GP meeting for orienting the fellow women of the FLC activities and benefits. After several visits to FLC she recognised herself as a capable trainer on subjects discussed in the FLC. She was also invited to share her knowledge and experience with other FLC participants.
‘Arth’ program is designed for women living at extremely rural conditions where no formal financial institutions are present within 5 Km or adequate presence of non-active banking institutions which actually affected these women/ families to inculcate their savings habit.
The ‘Arth’ program have a cadre of 50 women financial counselors better known as ‘Mitra’ (Friend) who are imparting financial literacy awareness across 100 villages of West Bengal. These villages are periodically changed according to the need. The ‘Mitra's’ are chosen from the local community having leadership quality and a known face across the villages and these financial counselors conduct three awareness meetings each month in a village targeting 20 participants in each meeting and post meeting regular follow-up is done through focused group discussions, door-to-door house visits and family financial counselling sessions through which the Mitra’s try to link every woman to financial inclusion schemes of government and helps them to use banking products effectively. These Mitra's are regularly trained on various issues relevant to village & community development and being asked to replicate those which enables them to keep a continuous touch with the women.
Followup with the women
A Mitra conducting awareness meeting at a village in Bankura
Each month before conducting awareness meetings, all the Mitra's district wise meet together and plan the dates, venue and logistics arrangement of the training camps.
As planned there is a monthly target to organise 3 training camps covering 20 women participants by each Mitra. This makes a total target of 150 camps by 50 Mitras covering 4500 women in a month.
Mitra's visits the house of the participating women who have showed interest to get linked with any particular scheme. This is an important activity where Mitra's tries to convince the women/ family to participate in financial well being activities.
Mitra's facilitate the linkage activity and continues the further follow up for 3 months to see whether they are continuing their savings habit and paying the premium (if any)
North 24 Parganas, Bankura, Birbhum & Uttar Dinajpur District in West Bengal
Impact so far
In 2019-2020, 37,711 women participated in the workshops conducted by the Mitra's.
Mitra’s assisted 5,361 women to open their first bank accounts, 4,841 women applied for the ATM cards, 17,749 were trained for using the ATM cards.
The Mitra’s newly linked around 2439 women in various financial schemes who were not linked earlier.
Capacity building session for Mitra's underway in Bankura, West Bengal
A story of facilitation of fulfiling dreams
Bandana Kundu, 38 years old, lives in Bankura district of West Bengal and belongs from a very poor family. She was 16 years when she got married to Basudev Kundu, a daily labour. They have a daughter of 6 years and a son of 3 years. Bandana dreams for a good future for her children and for that she needs money. Though their family income is steady but she struggles to save money regularly. It was this time she met one of the Mitra's who invited her in a awareness meeting where she learned importance of savings, budgeting and planning. She was also taught about various schemes of government and enrolled in one of such social security scheme called 'Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana' which is a small deposit scheme of the Government of India meant exclusively for a girl child and is launched as a part of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign. She believes that whatever the amount is saved will benefit her daughter to take higher education and fulfil their dreams. With the help of Mitra she now understands the importance of budgeting and regularly practices to save money and keeping a track of her daily expenses.
A story of fueling family's need
Pinki Parveen, 22 years old, lives with her husband and two daughters in Daspara village of Uttar Dinajpur District. Due to low family income she did not complete her study. Her Husband’s average monthly income is around 3000 rupees which hardly covers their family expenses. As she keeps busy everytime with her family works she is not being able to engage in any income generating activities hence she depends on her husband. Pinki is actively engaged in a SHG group of her village and through the group bank account interest she tries to save whatever she can for the better future of her children in her individual bank account. With an intention to learn more and how she could save more money effectively she attended Arth awareness meeting in Sept' 19. She showed much interest to get her husband enrolled under Samajik Surakha Yojana which is a PF scheme of Labour Dept, Govt of West Bengal. She thought this scheme will be very helpful for her family. The Mitra facilitated in filling the application forms and also follow-up with respective Gram Panchayat authority and linked her Husband with the scheme. She now continues to save at the scheme.
FinChamp program- for school students
When financial literacy is taught in school, students learn this foundational skill at the critical time, as they are just beginning to manage their own money. School FinChamp Program began under Sukalyan’s Financial Literacy & Inclusion theme in 2019 to reach out to school students through innovative and interactive workshops and tools.
School FinChamp program are conducted for the students of class IX and class X from Govt sponsored schools. The workshop tries to develop their knowledge on good financial behaviour. In this workshop interactive and participatory tools are used making the session simple and light for the student to understand Financial Literacy well. A quiz to evaluate the learning of the student is followed post-workshop. And to motivate the students elements of gifts are also introduced whoever performed better in quiz.
Increase financial knowledge among school students.
To help school students understand the value of money.
To inculcate the habit of saving, investing and financial planning.
Coverage: West Bengal