CHENNAI:While Demonetisation continues to take its toll on the financially backward people even three months after its announcement, the residents of Kannagi Nagar have decided to swim with the tide rather than against it.
Organised by InkLink Trust, an NGO, the digital awareness campaign near Kannagi Nagar Police Boys Club saw nearly 2,000 participants, mostly women, according to the organisers.
“Many women here take their hard-earned money home only to see it snatched away by drunkard husbands. So we realised that there was a lot they could gain by going digital,” said Kaustav Sengupta, professor, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Chennai and founder of InkLink. He added that InkLink could also keep their money from being stolen, given the high crime rate in the locality.
The participants who had smartphones learnt to use the unified payment interface (UPI) app that allows any user with a bank account to send to and receive money from multiple bank accounts with the same app. Those who did not were taught how to do basic banking through SMS.
Swapna Mary (42), a participant at the workshop and resident of Kannagi Nagar, said, “I’ve told all the women I know that they need not go to the bank every time, so they seemed interested in joining the workshop.”
The councillor of Kannagi Nagar and the head of accounts from NIFT were also present to encourage the move to digital transactions and to clarify all doubts.
“The participants were ready to learn and were not too scared about the suggestion. In fact, we did not expect such a turnout. We had to teach them in eight batches,” said Kaustav and added, “We are planning to do a second workshop soon since the first one did better than we had hoped.”
Children who were a part of the InkLink Trust and students of NIFT distributed 1,000 pamphlets.