Set up in the the Fatehpuri neighbourhood of Old Delhi, India is a unique bank which has been set up by children for children aged between 9-18 years. Irrespective of the family background, the bank, called Children’s Development Khazana (CDK) or Bal Vikas Khazana, provides children an opportunity to save money.
CDK, an initiative of Butterflies, a registered voluntary organisation working with street and working children in Delhi since 1989, is a saving and credit union scheme and works on banking and cooperative principles. The system is actually run by children under the guidance of adult facilitators and CDK members nominate amongst their own ranks those who become managers. These nominated members are provided training to handle their task and function as per the responsibility assigned. The children therefore learn the basics about running a small bank and, in turn, are taught valuable lessons about teamwork, democratic planning and participation as well as financial prudence.
The opportunity to save money arises from a single aim to provide the children with a way to develop skills that allow them to plan for their future from an early stage as well as equip them with basic banking skills and supports their mathematic and analytic functions through methods like profit and loss calculation.
CDK began life in April 2001 and has spread to 120 branches across Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan. Within India itself, CDKs have been set-up in Leh (Jammu and Kashmir), Kolkata (West Bengal), Wayanad (Kerala), Delhi, Mujaffarpur (Bihar), Bhubaneswar and Mayurbhanj (Orissa), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh). Find out more about the initiative here.