Yesterday on 28 August 2014, India witnessed a new world record, where the government helped 15 million citizens gain access to the local banks, and build their own financial autonomy, in one single day.
The government rolled out its ambitious financial inclusion programme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which aims to help their poor plan their own financial futures by providing them with bank accounts.
This financial inclusion scheme looks to ensure every Indian household has at least two bank accounts. Each of the bank accounts opened on Thursday comes with a RuPay debit card, Rs.1 lakh accident insurance cover and an additional Rs. 30,000 life insurance cover.
“Never before would insurance companies have issued 1.5 crore accident insurance policies on a single day. Never before in economic history would 1.5 crore bank accounts have been opened on a single day. Never before has the Government of India organised a programme of such scale — over 77,000 locations — with the participation of so many Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, government and bank officials,” Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India said at the scheme’s launch.
It’s been 67 years of independence and still less than 68 percent of India’s population has access to banking. Providing financial services to marginalised communities allows people to manage their own funds; gives them the opportunity to take out small credit loans; and helps them circumvent falling into the trap of borrowing from informal money lenders. The scheme looks to bring banking to 75 million people among India's poor population by January 26, 2015.