New Delhi : To commemorate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, 50,000 women SHG members are dedicated to the nation as B C Sakhi in the rural areas during the week, 24th to 30th September, 2021. These Business Correspondents will provide doorstep services in every Gram Panchayat (GP). The initiative has been named as the “One GP one B C Sakhi” mission. It is proposed to deploy at least one B C Sakhi in the rural areas by the end of 2023-24. More than 50,000 SHG women who have been trained and certified as B C Sakhi are already providing services at the doorsteps in rural areas.
Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development has initiated a novel process of engagement of women Self Help Group (SHG) members as Business Correspondents (BC) for providing basic banking services in the rural areas of the country. To boost cashless/digital transactions amongst SHGs and their members, State Rural Livelihoods Missions (SRLMs) have been advised to coordinate with different banks including Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) operating in their state to engage SHG members as their BCs.
The women SHG members are provided one week’s residential training at Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) established by the Lead bank of the district and they have to pass an online examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF), Mumbai for getting the certification as per guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India(RBI) that each business correspondent should be IIBF certified.
96% of the women SHG members in the rural areas who have appeared for this examination have cleared it. More than 54000 Women SHG members have been trained and certified by IIBF as Business Correspondent so far. The cost of training and IIBF Certification is borne by the Ministry of Rural Development.
DAY–NRLM has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CSC e-Governance India Ltd (an associate of Ministry of Information and Technology, Govt of India) to engage women SHG members as ‘DigiPay Sakhi’ to provide basic banking facilities in the rural areas. Under the MoU, CSC e-Governance India Ltd provides one Finger Print Device also to SHGs members to start basic banking service through DigiPay Application on their mobile handset. The cost of the Finger Print Device is also borne by the Ministry of Rural Development. These DigiPay Sakhis will also provide payment facilities for MGNREGA and other subsidies under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to the rural community at doorsteps.
All the SRLMs have conducted district level programmes and ensured Jan Bhagidari including the participation of local public representatives, participating bankers, CSC representatives, women SHG members and other important functionaries in the districts to achieve the goal of dedicating 50,000 Women SHG members as Business Correspondents.