The demonetization of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes had hit the rural economy very very hard. With very few users of bank accounts for daily transactions, the cash transactions that are done on a daily basis had come to a grinding halt. This has hit many people very very hard, with them not having any money for their daily expenses.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested that adopting a cashless digital economy will solve this problem. The execution of this scheme is practically difficult in cases where people do not have access to a proper bank account or other digital facilities. The Bank of Maharashtra has set a great example by doing this successfully in the Malangaon village of Maharashtra.
Malangaon is a small village of just 4,500 people and is 3.5 km away from the Shirdhon branch of the Bank of Maharashtra. Majority of the villagers are occupied in farming of grapes and other fruits and vegetables and dairy farming. The major cash transactions that happened daily were to pay the laborers who worked on the farms and also to pay the kirana stores, medical stores and other traders at markets. Many other large payments that are made on a monthly basis for farm raw materials like pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides, are done using cash. These payments had become a major challenge.
The bank, along with the local government officials worked towards getting all the villagers an Aadhar card linked bank account. The bank officials, known as Bank Mitras, went door to door to ensire that all the villagers had at least one bank account with their Aadhar card.
The Bank Mitras put up sign boards across the village to educate people about the different digital modes and platforms that can be used for banking. They also conducted an education drive to help villagers understand and execute digital transactions. The Bank Mitras also went from door to door with pamphlets about various details to help villagers embrace a cashless digital economy.