Taking Digital Transaction at the doorsteps of rural communities in Gujarat

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Cosmo Foundation, a CSR initiative of Cosmo Films, one of the largest manufacture of BOPP and Thermal laminated films engaged to enhance quality of education by taking forward Computer Literacy, Basic English Communication, maths and life skill programs in neighboring villages of their manufacturing units in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

MUMBAI: We are in the digital era where everything we want is just a click away. Digital India cannot be complete without a robust digital payments system, which is fast developing but still to reach a large part of rural economy and thus is the main reason why retail payment transactions are still done through cash mode.

The biggest challenge is to digitize the payment initiative in the interiors of India especially for the people in rural areas. Extremely low digital literacy, poor basic infrastructure like erratic power supply hinders the growth of payment systems in such areas.Taking Digital Transaction at doorsteps of rural communities in Gujarat (2)

With the announcement of Cashless transaction by RBI, Cosmo films Ltd. initiated awareness programs to train the people on cashless payment system. The main agenda was to promote and explain how the digital payment system works and how it can bring a change in a society.

The following initiatives are being undertaken by the Cosmo Foundation to familiarize them with the digital systems:

Dialogue with local communities and local Banks on the kind of problems they face.

Designed training module in Gujarati:- It covers the ancient practice of barter system, exchange of old coin till the present time of dealing with the practice of cash and currency transaction and how it helps doing transaction through cashless means i.e. adopting the practice by using digital technology. The in-house production of training module was inaugurated by Saurabh Pardhi (IAS), District Development Officer, Vadodara.

Systematic training of 24 members including Cosmo Computer Teachers, school teachers, university interns. The training was conducted by Dhaval Maheta, Assistant Professor, Navrachana University, Vadodara.Taking Digital Transaction at doorsteps of rural communities in Gujarat (3)

Initiated dialogues through assignments with high school students: Around 417 students participated and prepared assignments and the best performers were rewarded.

Training of local youth and communities: In the last six months, Cosmo Foundation trained 600 local youth, 95 Aanganwadi workers and 30 members of Gram Panchayat and school management committees. They were trained on various methods of digital transactions through videos, posters, presentations and apps. Many participants downloaded the apps in their mobiles and started practising the net banking process.

In the next quarter, the foundation has planned to train all Aanganwadi workers as well as Asha workers from Health Department in Karjan block in Vadodara, Gujarat, along with local communities.

As a result of these initiatives, the Cosmo Foundation has observed that inhibition and fear to use cashless digital transactions has come down considerably and the community members have begun making online payments for mobile recharges and electricity bills. Some have even started shopping online, making online money transfers or even pay college fees online. The communities also observed that making digital payments saved time and they no longer had to stand in long queues at the banks.

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