newznew (Chandigarh) : Bank of Maharashtra, one of the oldest public sector banks in India, has helped to make the village of Malangaon, in Sangli district, Maharashtra, a completely cashless village. Post the announcement of demonetisation, the push towards a cashless society and financial inclusion became the need of the hour, and Bank of Maharashtra has helped achieve this vision in Malangaon with the help of the District collector and several government officials.
Malangaon, which is located 3.5km away from Bank of Maharashtra’s Shirdhon branch, is a village of about 4,500 people. The main source of income is farming, specifically grape farming, while dairy production, kirana and medical stores make up a significant part of the economic activity in the village. The main mode of transaction had been cash based, and with demonetisation, payment of labourers, selling and buying produce, paying school fees and day to day expenses became a challenge. Purchase of farm inputs like pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers, as well as the sale of the final produce began to hamper the economy of the village.
Bank of Maharashtra helped to solve these problems by going door to door to all houses in the village and opening Aadhaar linked bank accounts for everyone in the village. This was done by the Bank of Maharashtra’s Banking Correspondents, called Bank Mitra. Apart from this, an education drive was conducted for the village populous, right from the farmers, to daily wage labourers, cattle-feed sellers, dairy milk producers, customers, kirana, medical store and shop owners. They were educated on various banking transactions, payments and money transfer, as well as understanding how to use Bank of Maharashtra products like MahaMobile, Maha E-pay, MahaUPI etc. The Bank Mitra put out flex across the village demonstrating the use of various digital banking modes and platforms, and also went door to door with a pamphlet of this information to ensure that everyone in the village could be educated on the same.
Ravindra Prabhakar Marathe, MD and CEO, Bank of Maharashtra, said, “Bank of Maharashtra has fully supported the government’s push to a cashless society and our initiative of making Malangaon cashless from end to end is a testament to the fact. Aadhar linked bank accounts make it easy for everyone in the village to perform banking transactions by the simple use of their fingerprint. All businesses that were disrupted post demonetisation because of their heavy dependence on cash have continued to be performed seamlessly because of an intensive education drive and the efforts of bank officials from the Shirdhon branch to bring everyone into the fold of new-age, digital banking. We hope to continue to make a positive impact and support the country in whatever way we can.”
Farmers in Malangaon are now paid by the transfer of money directly into their account, the sale of farming produce has turned cashless, farming inputs are purchased digitally, owners of milk collection centers all have bank accounts and small merchants have current accounts for day-to-day banking transactions. Bank of Maharashtra is continuously working to bring the future of banking to villages across the country, with Malangaon being a success story of the same.