Reliance Foundation to spread financial literacy among slum women

Mumbai, Dec 28 (IANS) The Reliance Foundation on Monday announced a unique initiative it has taken up — a project to spread financial literacy and awareness among half a million slum women of Mumbai.

The programme was launched on the 83rd birth anniversary of the late industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani and aims to “empower women towards making informed financial decisions and get them to inculcate the savings habit”.

Backed by CRISIL’s technical knowhow, the Reliance Foundation has carried out a study of Mumbai slums which revealed how women were usually kept out of the financial decision making process by the men.

“Even the employed ones among them hand over their salary to their husbands or fathers who manage the money. Psychologically, these women do not feel adept at handling finance. In reality, however, they are much better at managing finances though a majority of them know nothing about the basics of banking,” a foundation official said.

Accordingly, a module has been created to educate such women in the basics of banking, help them avail of government initiatives like Jan Dhan Yojana, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.

The Reliance Foundation will help every woman open a bank account under Jan Dhan Yojana and connect older women to the Atal Pension Yojana, said foundation COO Jitendra Kalra.

In the first phase, a pool of 50 master trainers will be trained from the marginalized women using technical help of CRISIL Foundation, who in turn would train another 2,400 trainers by March 2016 to carry the programme forward.

Kalra added the workshop is designed as an extension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi;s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme.

“By educating women from marginalised sections of the society on financial matters, we will be empowering them to make informed decisions for the financial well-being of their families. After all, a woman cares the most for her family,” he noted.

Headed by founder-chairperson Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation is engaged in helping marginalized sections of people and impacts over 5,500 villages and four million people by its activities.

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