CRISIL Foundation – Last-mile financial inclusion
Five Money-Wise Centers for Financial Literacy (CFLs) have just been inaugurated in the Union Territory of Ladakh by the CRISIL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) division of CRISIL Ltd.
This brings the total number of CFLs established by the CRISIL Foundation under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) auspices to 429 across 14 states and four union territories, predominantly at the sub-district and block levels.
The RBI chose the CRISIL Foundation, one of ten nonprofit organizations, as the project’s corporate social responsibility arm. As part of the initial phase of this effort, these non-profits installed about 1,100 CFLs with the help of public sector sponsor-banks. More than a third of these, including CFLs in some of the most difficult places, have been established by the CRISIL Foundation alone.
In collaboration with 10 sponsor banks, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and with financial assistance from the Depositor Awareness and Educator Fund and the Financial Inclusion Fund of the RBI, CRISIL Foundation will manage the 429 CFLs till 2024.
Through these centres, CRISIL Foundation and its sponsors hope to improve the lives of nearly 23 million rural residents across 60,000 villages over the course of the next three years, with a concentration on women and youth.
To emphasize the advantages of using formal banking, financial services, and social security programmes, they combine educational videos, games, experiential learning, and financial counselling tools. They do this by wisely utilizing technology to increase outreach, impact, and cost effectiveness.
The CRISIL Foundation has chosen 1,750 neighbourhood trainers for the 429 CFLs and properly trained them. They interact with the neighbourhood and encourage residents to stop by the centre for advice on money matters, including goal-based financial planning, depositor rights, consumer protection and redressal mechanisms, and digital financial transactions. They also educate the community about financial matters. Villagers can receive financial counselling at the centres or right at home.
We are devoted to empowering the economically excluded by enhancing their potential, says Maya Vengurlekar, Chief Operating Officer of CRISIL Foundation. The sole index that offers information on financial inclusion at the district level is Inclusix, which CRISIL introduced in 2013. That prepared the ground for targeted efforts in excluded regions. By reaching the underserved in the countryside, whether it is in the heavenly Ladakh, the northeastern foothills, or the Rajasthani deserts, CFLs are overcoming these gaps. The RBI, sponsor banks, NABARD, and other stakeholders have all provided enormous support in all of this.
Through Mein Pragati, its flagship programme for boosting financial capacity, the CRISIL Foundation has also reached out to nearly 900,000 community members, largely women, in Assam and Rajasthan since 2015. The “National CSR Award 2018″ in the category “Corporate Awards in CSR in Challenging Circumstances” was presented by the President of India in October 2019 in recognition of its work in Assam.