Financial Literacy Awareness Continues

Financial Literacy Awareness Continues

In the sugar supply chain process small famers, women farmers and farm workers are most vulnerable and marginalised. They find it hard to access government welfare schemes and other entitlements. Oxfam India in its intervention villages in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur have set a target of 100 percent enrolment in social welfare schemes like PDS ration, MGNREGA, Ayushman and e-Shram of all eligible people. 

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Working on this initiative, Oxfam India established good rapport and linkages with the officials of line departments like labour welfare, social welfare at the district and division level. We have observed that farm labourers are mostly from the marginalised Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes i.e Dalits and Adivasis, respectively. They are deprived various government welfare schemes and entitlements for various reasons but the major reasons are lack of any information regarding the scheme and lack of  accurate information regarding documents and processes of applications. 

Dattopant Thengadi National Board for Workers Education and Development (DTNBWED) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (GOI) aims to impart information to women belonging to economically and socially backward classes especially Dalits and Adivasis. Oxfam India collaborated with the Board and shared its findings that showed that the vulnerable groups did not have access to welfare schemes and entitlements. The Board appreciated our initiative and we collaborated to organise village-wise orientation programme for women from the economically and socially backward groups. This began in Meerut. 

A two-day awareness camp was organised on 15 and 16 June 2022 in Betjevra village in Meerut; 40 women from the Dalit community participated and were oriented on different labour department welfare schemes and the processes to apply for the same. This was 5th such awareness camp; prior to this camps were organised in five other intervention villages in Meerut.

The women who participated in the camp received Rs 500 by the board for the two days; this was to compensate the two days wage loss that they would have incurred to attend the camp. This has generated some confidence among the women and we are positive that these women will disseminate the message to others in their village and more and more people will be linked with different government welfare schemes and entitlements. More such camps with the Board are in the pipeline. 

In order to make the women farmers, small land holder farmers and farm labourers adept in the banking processes so that they can avail subsidised loans and facilities on the kisan credit card instead of taking loans from money lenders on higher rates of interest, Oxfam India has collaborated with the lead bank of Meerut district. In this initiative, lead banks are organising awareness camp to orient communities on different aspects of banking. One such camp was organised in Meerut.

Most recently, the bank officials held a session for the women on 16 June on various banking processes such as opening different types of accounts in bank, types of loans available and kisan credit cards schemes. The session was informative and the women found it very useful. More such awareness meetings are in the pipeline. 

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