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Sakhi Mandal – Rural Financing and Skill Development

Sakhi Mandal – Rural Financing and Skill Development

Background

The residents of the Pakur area face many challenges in availing financial services through mainstream banking system. Certain major challenges include banks’ reluctance to provide credit and other financial services; location of branches at a significant distance from villages; under-staffed branches, and poor internet connectivity.

Intervention

In the given backdrop of limited infrastructure and lack of access to banking services, the district administration provided a major thrust to build ‘Enabling Environment for Rural Financing’. The initiatives include:

  • Strengthening of the Sakhi Mandal (SM) programme, which empowers women in rural areas, enabling them to avail financial services
  • Opening up of 8 Micro ATMs to provide doorstep banking services such as deposits, withdrawals and payment services
  • Strengthening the banking correspondent model managed by community federations
  • Promoting individual account opening among members and ensuring minimum balance to some extent

Impact

The uptake of banking services has significantly improved in the region. There are over 50,000 members availing insurance schemes. In FY 17-18, 3,600 Sakhi Mandals were financed, receiving a cumulative amount of ` 36 crore - a major increase compared with the outcomes of previous 3.5 years, where 2,600 Sakhi Mandals were financed, receiving a cumulative amount of `13 crore. Moreover, a significant shift has also been noted in consumers’ transaction behaviour as consumers are moving away from cash based transactions to account based transactions. 

Source : Aspirational District for WEB



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