FLCC (Financial Literacy Center Counselor) acting as a bridge between the bank and the villagers

Ranchi: The picture of rural Jharkhand seems to be changing as now the women of Sakhi Mandal are playing their important role in giving impetus to the rural economy. With the joint initiative of Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank and JSLPS, the selected women of Sakhi Mandal have been prepared as FLCC (Financial Literacy Center Counselors) to make the villagers aware and aware of the technology related to banking.

FLCCs are usually retired, banking officers. For the first time in Jharkhand, in collaboration with Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank and JSLPS, the members of Sakhi Mandal are getting a chance to work as FLCC. This is an innovative initiative to take banking service to the villagers. 

Members of the group, who have worked as Bank Sakhi (Bank Sakhi is a trained SHG member who helps rural women to fill up bank linkage forms, open SHG savings accounts, personal savings accounts, transact in banks and any other bank-related Services such as banking transactions.) Those who have a bachelor’s degree and can read, write, speak and understand the local language. These women are selected for FLCC on the basis of written tests and interviews.

Birani Tuti is the Financial Literacy Center Counselor (FLCC) in the Khunti branch of Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank. Birani of Suranda village of Murhu block of Khunti provides facilities such as bank account opening, insurance schemes and joint or individual loans for doing business through financial literacy camps as FLCC. Birani informs the villagers about the various financial products available
by the banks, from which they can also sustain their own livelihood.

Today Birani’s monthly income is Rs 15,000. After joining Sakhi Mandal, Birani worked as Bank Sakhi for four years, where she gained financial knowledge and knowledge of various banking services. Birani also trained other bank friends and earned an income of about Rs 8,000 per month. Birani got selected for FLCC after qualifying the written test and interview conducted by Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank. Working as FLCC today she is organizing 7 to 10 camps per month in different villages.

In the camp, she provides various financial services and information to other villagers including senior citizens and school children. On average, Birani also insures 40 to 50 people in a camp. Birani says, “Now I have my own identity. Before joining the group, I used to cut grass with my mother. However, I had a bachelor’s degree. But, despite having a degree then, there was no work worthy of a degree. But, by working as an FLCC today, I have made my mark as well as ensured income.” Like Birani, Ani, a resident of Palani village of Patratu block of Ramgarh district Anita Kumari is working as FLCC for one year. She says, “I enjoy doing my job. I love helping people and raising awareness about financial products. I have taken all the insurance plans myself.

In a camp, I average 40-45 people. People come to me for financial advice. I have made my own identity and am earning Rs.15,000 a month.” With the initiative of the Financial Literacy Center Counsellor, while on one hand, the working FLCCs are ensuring their livelihood, it has also become easier for the villagers to avail banking services. AK Prasad, Chief Manager, Financial Inclusion, JRGB, Khunti informed that the SHG members have a good grasp of the local language, which helps in explaining the various financial services to the people.

SHG members in the form of FLCCs are a good option to promote financial service, understand the needs and popularize social security schemes.” A total of 12 FLCCs are functioning in 12 different districts of Jharkhand Deoghar, Giridih, Koderma, Chatra, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Saraikela Kharsawan, Khunti, Dhanbad and Gumla.

The good work of the women of the group has encouraged JRGB to recruit more SHG members in the form of FLCCs. They very efficiently raise awareness on financial products in rural areas and serve the twin purpose of increasing bank business and raising financial awareness among rural people.

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