* Image showing Leena Mahto, a BC
All most all women of the village Chandari in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand were in the yard of Leena Mahto's house, making cash transaction. All of them stood in a queue with Leena using Point of Sale(POS)device -to check the Aadhaar number and thumbprint and once cleared, make payment to account holder.
So it was good to see the entire tribal community turn out to draw money from their bank account through the device operated by Leena, a bank correspondent."More often then not, I receive a call and go to the caller's home to carry forward transaction", she giggled.
In villages, each located in hilly terrains, surrounded by forest, tribals lack transportation. Banks and ATMs are located far away in the urban area. For them, bank correspondent has emerged as a local bank for the exclusive benefit of tribals. So her earnings based on a minute commission must not be sufficient to elk out a living.
But the bank correspondent was free to provide other online services. "Apart from collecting and paying land revenue, I do mobile recharge and sell SIM cards too", she said showing her POS device.
Like Leena Mahto, there were 950 banking correspondents in Jharkhand who were providing banking service to people in rural Jharkhand.
All of them were trained by the Jharkhand State Livelihood Mission. As a result, these bank correspondents who were self-employed, exhibiting growing business in rural Jharkhand, were working to pay cash, pension, scholarship, labour wage as well as informing villagers about government subsidy, housing scheme funds and so on.
Some times, they do more than fulfill targets fixed by themselves. Collusion with local vested interests, such as village moneylender, see an enormous amount of mischief in a cash payment.