The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of IDFC Group, IDFC Foundation India has partnered Vasudhara Dairy. This initiative has been taken to create financial inclusion in the tribal districts of over 1000 unbanked villages of Gujarat and Maharashtra. This is being decided to be done using Financial Inclusion Devices or inter operable micro ATMs
Over thousands of farmers are expected to get an access to financial services in their villages. In order to reach a traditional ATM or a bank branch, farmers of these un banked locations are bound to cover a distance of around 5-10 kilometers.
At a ceremony in Mogarwadi Village, around 25 kilometres from Valsad, the first few Financial Inclusion devices were handed over officially, in the presence of – Sangram Chaudhary:Executive Director of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), N Vashi: Managing Director of Vasudhara Dairy, Dr. NS Rajan: Group CHRO, Group CMO and CEO of IDFC Foundation, and Amit Kumar: Head, Personal Banking, IDFC Bank.
Launched in 1973, the Vasudhara Dairy is the District Cooperative of Valsad. It serves the tribal districts of Valsad, Navsari and Dangs. This dairy obtains a noteworthy 8,00,000 litres of milk each day.
Vasudhara dairy is renowned for constantly working towards enhancing the standard of living of the dairy farmers. The effort of the dairy to bring financial inclusion to the locations it is serving already, it another momentous footstep in this direction.
The initiative of Vasudhara Dairy in 1000 villages is united with IDFC Foundation’s flagship programmes on Financial Inclusion and Dairy Development (Shwetdhara). The Foundation aims to improve the rural livelihoods on a national scale.
Vasudhara Dairy’s initiative in the 1000 villages ties in with IDFC Foundation’s flagship programmes on Financial Inclusion and Dairy Development (Shwetdhara), which aim to enhance rural livelihoods on a national scale.
The inter-operable micro ATM or Financial Inclusion refers to a digital innovation by IDFC Bank, which has assisted in creating an access to banking services and convenience even in the most remote locations of India.
Dr NS Rajan, while speaking on the occasion said, “Financial inclusion is key to improving the quality of life in rural India. Within the rural landscape, the dairy sector is an area which provides livelihood to millions of marginal, small and landless farmers. Many of them are excluded from the financial mainstream. Thus, we have identified it as an area of large scale social intervention.”
“It is a privilege to work with Vasudhara on realizing its dream of creating financial inclusion for dairy farmers. Vasudhara is perhaps the first dairy cooperative to envision a project of this scale, under the able leadership of Vashi who saw inclusion as a possibility in these villages,” DrRajanadded to the statement.
At present, the most prevalent issue amongst the farmers is the access to their own funds, as the ATMs or bank branches are located several kilometres away. By joining hands with IDFC Foundation and IDFC Bank, Vasudhara Dairy has sought to address this pain point of the farmers.
DrRajan said, “This transformative programme will result in deployment of Financial Inclusion Devices at milk collection centres in every village, visited by dairy farmers on a daily basis. These devices offer convenience as they enable cash outs and all basic transactions. For many beneficiaries, it is also their first brush with digital payments. It also promotes a spirit of entrepreneurship as the Financial Inclusion Devices are operated by village residents. This model has huge potential for scale up due to its efficiency and cost effectiveness.”
The micro ATM or Financial Inclusion Device includes a tab, a biometric reader and a thermal printer. The dairy farmers who dwell in this village and hold an account in any bank, can now benefit from all the basic inclusion services.
These services include –deposits and withdrawals, fund transfer, remittances and bill payments. The initiative will save the farmers a significant time as well as money that they used to spend on commuting long distances to the nearest banking facilities available. Using Aadhaar-enabled biometric authentication, farmers can also open an account on these devices in just 4 minutes.