With Support from National Agricultural Bank for Rural Development, SMART launched a year- long campaign on Financial Inclusion.
In India over 41%of the households are excluded from banking services. But in Mewat almost 75 per cent of the households are financially excluded. This is mainly because of lack of information and sensitization of the community besides of course several other reasons including poverty and dependence of agriculture for their livelihoods, fewer entrepreneurial activities etc. List of households covered by banks, number of persons with bank accounts/ credit accounts etc are also not available. Thus SMART proposed to adopt a multi pronged approach. It decided to reach out to over 100 villages through its field workers and help disseminate information on the FI components and products and also produce 200 radio programs on a variety of themes related to FI , which would be broadcast through the community radio.
The objective of this project was to create awareness in the community about the benefits of the financial institutions and products, to help the community access banking services and hand hold those interested in taking advantage of the schemes like Kisan Credit cards etc, to facilitate the loan process for the marginalized, to help open no frills accounts and also to assist the banks in reaching out to the hard to reach segments of society. Together with the rural bank and the lead bank SMART worked tirelessly to achieve its targets in a difficult society. The sponsor of the project, NABARD, was delighted to partner SMART because of the commitment and sincerity of the team, which achieved the given targets.