Schools across Mumbai are signing up for 'financial literacy' workshops that will help their students understand how banks, savings, stock markets and financial institutions work.
These workshops are conducted by the Bombay Stock Exchange Training Institute and organizations like non-profit Junior Achievement (JA).
In the lower classes, the students learn about basic concepts like savings and risk; senior students discuss more advanced themes, like how to handle a business.
Schools are also encouraging students to organize their own business-themed contests to test their knowledge and understanding of real-world economics.
Last year, Class 12 students of DY Patil International School organized Business and Economic Challenge, an inter-school competition where 14 teams solved business problems based on given case studies.
"It was a good opportunity to get some exposure on how to start a business. Many of us want to run our own businesses some day," said Keshav Biyani, a student organiser who also participated in the contest.
Next, a group of Class 10 students of RN Podar School, Santacruz, as part of their JA programme, will launch a sort of 'initial public offering', seeking investments in their school magazine from fellow senior students. The money thus earned will be used to run the magazine, which will also be sold by the stakeholders at a nominal retail rate.
Parents are pitching in too, encouraging children to save in banks and taking them to see bank lockers.
"It is not too early too learn these things," said Feroza Suresh, who takes her eight-year-old son to the bank once a year. "Parents need to make children understand the value of money at a young age."
However, other parents warn that children could misunderstand the muted forms of the market.
"I am not sure about teaching them about stocks and shares," said Seema Parekh, a mother of two. "I have seen children play games involving the exchange of money, almost like gambling, and that is unhealthy."