Now, Aarey tribal women open their own bank accounts | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Now, Aarey tribal women open their own bank accounts

After the state government banned plastic, these women have now been making paper bags, which help them earn ₹200-500 per week.

mumbai Updated: May 20, 2018 00:35 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Tribal girls making paper bags and Warli paintings at Aarey colony in Mumbai on Friday, May 18, 2018.
Tribal girls making paper bags and Warli paintings at Aarey colony in Mumbai on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Vanita Thackeray, a farmer from Khambacha pada in Aarey Milk Colony, had to sell off her jewellery recently, to pay for her mother’s treatment.

“We never thought of saving. As a result, we aren’t left with disposable income in hand; so in times of crisis, we either sell whatever we have or borrow money,” said Thackeray.

However, earlier this month Jandhan bank accounts were opened for 47 women from this tribal hamlet. After the state government banned plastic, these women have now been making paper bags, which help them earn ₹200-500 per week.

Soma Dutta, chairperson of the NGO, I care for tomorrow society, who helped them open bank accounts, said, “These women weren’t aware of the government schemes that they can avail. Each of them must have a functioning account for at least two years so they can take a loan from the bank.”

The group has also been conducting personality development sessions for women and plan to assist them to in starting self-help groups.

Twenty-year-old Pratibha Thapar, a resident of Khambacha pada said that earlier only the elderly had bank accounts and official documents. It was not considered necessary for women to have the same. However, with the NGO’s initiative, youngsters and women are now working on getting these documents so they can have a functioning account.

“It feels good to have some extra money on hand, which is why the entire family works together to make paper bags. However, the problem is boys from our community are unable to find employment, which is why women do not even expect jobs,” Thapar said.

Meanwhile, another NGO Vanamali, is also helping tribals to form self-help groups. Amrita Nadkarni, managing trustee of NGO said, “In case of tribals, it has been observed that the husband and wife supplement each other and work together to contribute towards the development of the family. Also, if these women earn, they will be able to assert themselves and stop men from drinking.”

Aarey Milk Colony consists of 27 padas or tribal settlements with a population of 10,000.

Khambacha pada has around 100 houses with a population of more than 500, consisting of Warli tribes. Most of them are seasonal farmers or work as daily wage labourers, out of which their monthly income is around ₹5,000.