Hasina Nannu overlooks the functioning of eleven SHGs and more than a 100 women. Most of the women in the SHGs are literate and employed in small-scale business, which results in their absence or minimum involvement in the SHG meetings. The women come only to deposit their money and quickly run away once their entry is recorded in the registers. The manual maintenance of records is time-consuming and a waste of their precious time.
Recognizing these issues and desperate to make the meetings more productive, Hasina with the help of Digiprayas volunteers organized a financial literacy session for all the SHG women. The sessions involved several activities from learning to use basic smartphones applications, downloading e-wallet apps, transacting money online and using several e-banking services. These sessions transformed the way the SHGs worked. Two groups consisting of more than 25 women, now use an e-wallet app to transfer their weekly contributions to the group leader’s bank account and maintain their records on digital passbooks. They no longer deposit cash and when they are busy, simply transfer the money from their home or work spaces. The SHGs now meet primarily to discuss the benefits of loans, when, why and who to give the loans to and possibilities of setting up small-scale enterprises. The meetings are now much more productive and engage the women in mind-stimulating conversations. The digital interventions have also empowered the women to use their smartphones and let go of their fear of banking online.
“Today our SHGs are not just a place to deposit money, but a space to think, ideate and solve problems. Thanks to the digital platforms.”