RBI banking on a comic books | india | Hindustan Times
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RBI banking on a comic books

Reserve Bank of India comes out with the comic book Raju and the Money Tree to popularise and create awareness about basic banking among common people and children, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2007 03:17 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

This is one move that the Reserve Bank of India hopes will pay rich dividends. The RBI has come out with its first comic book titled Raju and the Money Tree to create awareness about basic banking among common people and children.

The attractively designed, colourful comic weaves in basic banking concepts while telling the tale of the main protagonist Raju. It highlights how banks keep money safe, makes money grow by paying interest, issues loans.

RBI regional director of Delhi HR Khan told Hindustan Times: "Five more comic books are in the pipeline. Three of these are on basic banking — one for the rural poor, another for the urban poor and the third based on electronic based no-frills account. The fourth one is on currency and the fifth on the RBI as a monetary authority. We are also planning comic books on banking services for specific target groups such as women, defence personnel, senior citizens."

He explained that despite efforts since Independence to broaden the banking network and develop regional rural banks, 61 per cent of the rural and 40 per cent of the urban population is still not a part of the formal banking network. NSS data has showed that apart from turning to the informal sector for loans, rural people also entrust their savings to this sector.

With the growing concern about "financial exclusion" and efforts being made toward "social inclusion", the RBI felt there was a dire need to acquaint common people with banking concepts and benefits, he explained. And the bank hit upon the idea of using comics to connect with people, Khan said.

The comic, which has also been printed in Braille, will be available in 13 languages — Hindi, English, Oriya, Assamese, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi. It is available free of cost and has been posted on the RBI website www.rbi.org.in/commonperson as well.

"We are encouraging banks, schools, NGOs and other interest groups to print the books in required quantities and help in distributing them. We also intend to use village panchayats," he added.