Pune’s Digital Sakhi, next step to cashless transactions in rural areas | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Pune’s Digital Sakhi, next step to cashless transactions in rural areas

Digital Sakhi is a rural woman, with a digital device in hand, equipped with skills and knowledge to confidently impart digital financial literacy training to 100 women in the pilot programme.

pune Updated: Jun 30, 2017 23:20 IST
HT Correspondent
People during Digital Sakhi Program at Yashada in Pune, India, on Thursday.
People during Digital Sakhi Program at Yashada in Pune, India, on Thursday.(Rahul Raut/HT)

Sujata Pingale (30) resident of Khed, has never used an ATM in her life.She is one among the women chosen to be a Digital Sakhi. She is now confident of using the digital platform after her training.

Digital Sakhi is a rural woman, with a digital device in hand, equipped with skills and knowledge to confidently impart digital financial literacy training to 100 women in the pilot programme.

This will be run in 32 villages of Pune, Solapur and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra. The program will develop a team of 100 digital sakhis as digital enablers, who will impart training to 1,000 women entrepreneurs to conduct daily transactions using digital modes of payments.

“Every rural women will know how to use the various digital modes of payment in the months to come because everything will be digital in future,” said Chandrakant Dalvi, divisional commissioner, Pune at the launch of Digital Sakhi, a digital financial inclusion program for rural women in Maharashtra.

L&T Financial Services in partnership with Action for Agricultural Renewal in Maharashtra (AFARM), an NGO engaged in rural livelihoods promotion, enterprise development of socially and economically marginalised rural communities, Thursday launched this programme.

“It is a step for women to go ahead through this program, they were never behind even during Gandhi or Ambedkar. Women have always been there to step up and join in any March. This program is an experiment that will show us that they can be financially strong. Every women should get a status, not just empowerment but also emancipation. They need to get their respect everywhere they go, as a wife, as a daughter-in-law, as a women. We need to change the attitude of people towards women and this programme will help make a difference. Men too need to change and stand with women, support them wholeheartedly,” said Dr Dwarkadas Lohiya, chairperson, AFARM. 

“Think of this Digital Sakhi as a qualification, an integrated approach and a move ahead in life. It is a big step for all those selected women,” he added. 

Sunil Prabhune, chief executive , Rural Finance and Chief Human Resource Officer, L&T Financial Services, said, “We do have some understanding of the rural sector and have been helping women in rural area be micro entrepreneurs. We have 20 lakh women in the last two years. We need to expand the definition of literacy. We have noticed that we open doors / avenues to women to be empowered, it can completely transform the household,” he said.

We will be training them in how to use the technology and the infrastructure in place. These chosen women, in the age group of 25 to 30 years, are confident, have communication abilities and have leadership qualities. 

This pilot programme is a one-year programme with women getting a 10-day training and two refresher courses during the year. The women will learn about using debit cards, ATMs, bank accounts, and the idea of going cashless.