L&T Financial Services (LTFS), India’s leading financial services firm launched ‘Digital Sakhi’ a programme on digital financial inclusion for the rural women on June 29, 2017.
The programme will be run on a pilot basis in 32 villages of Pune, Solapur and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra in partnership with Action for Agricultural Renewal in Maharashtra (AFARM), an NGO engaged in rural livelihoods promotion, enterprise development of socially and economically marginalized rural communities.
‘Digital Sakhi’ is a rural woman, with a digital device in hand, equipped with skills and knowledge to confidently impart digital financial literacy training to women in the pilot villages. The program will develop a team of 100 ‘Digital Sakhis’ as digital enablers, who in turn will impart training to 1,000 women entrepreneurs to conduct daily transactions using digital modes of payments.
She will also conduct camps in villages with the aim of sensitizing close to 1,00,000 villagers on various government initiatives and programmes on digitization and moving towards a less-cash economy.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Sunil Prabhune, Chief Executive – Rural Finance and Chief Human Resources Officer, LTFS said, “In today’s world, true literacy extends beyond the ability to read and write, with digital literacy becoming a crucial enabler. Our endeavor at LTFS is to assist in empowering citizens, by providing them the tools and the training to transform their lives through technology. ‘Digital Sakhi’ is one such initiative that focuses on empowering rural women through initiating and strengthening their ability to use digital tools targeted at financial inclusion.”
Mr. Subhash Tamboli, Executive Director, AFARM added “AFARM is pleased to partner with LTFS for the promotion of digital financial literacy in rural communities and achieving socio-economic empowerment of women in rural Maharashtra. With this partnership, we hope to enable and nurture educated unemployed rural women to act as Ambassadors for digital transformation. Furthermore, we will impart training on trade specific skill and entrepreneurship development, enterprise management, business development and linking them with the intermediaries and market players. We expect all these efforts will lead to business expansion and an increase in income of rural women over a period of three years”.
The launch was graced by the Divisional Commissioner, Mr. Chandrakant Dalvi and other government officials from representative districts. The programme concluded with distribution of tablets and kits to the Digital Sakhis.