BY – Sanjeev Kumar, CEO, Spice Money
This Independence Day is momentous, not just because it’s the 75th year, but also because it marks yet another year of resilience of our fellow citizens, working and supporting each other through turbulent times. The meaning of freedom in India has been expanding over the years to include aspirations such as financial freedom driven by focus on inclusion into the formal financial system, both by the government and the private players. Today, more than 80% of India is banked and a vast number of banking correspondent agents are furthering the cause of financial inclusion in India.
This Independence Day, we at Spice Money, want to celebrate our 6 Lakh plus Adhikaris (banking correspondents) who have enabled financial inclusion and accessibility even as the country shut down amidst the pandemic induced lockdown. Our Adhikaris ensured that the essential services of basic banking operations reached rural India and that they could access their own money with ease in their time of need. Financial freedom is easier for the urban population to realise due to the varied services available at their doorstep, but it is the banking correspondents that bring the rural population closer to financial freedom. These essential banking services also provide rural women the freedom to access their own money and build enterprises that contribute towards the economy.
It has been great to see the government prioritising financial freedom with initiatives like the e-RUPI launch that empowers beneficiaries with leak-proof, digital, cashless and streamlined access to benefits without the need for middlemen. Financial inclusion will foster equitable financial freedom for the vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society, especially women, and are great enablers for the balanced growth of the country.”