By Baibhabi Hazra
With the current wave of feminist movements around the world, the importance of financial literacy is rising tremendously. It is necessary for women to realise and assert their independence in today’s times by becoming financially independent and having the knowledge and skills to understand the problem to its heart.
With a significant idea in mind, the fellows of the School Changemakers Program crafted a well-thought-out initiative to encourage financial literacy amongst homemakers with a special emphasis on those belonging to lower-income households.
To understand people’s perceptions on financial literacy, the group conducted several surveys to gather responses from individuals with diverse income backgrounds and ages. The inclusion of both subjective and objective questions in the survey allowed for an in-depth analysis of the current scenario.
According to the survey results, it was discovered that more than 50% of those surveyed knew nothing about how household incomes are budgeted. However, they agreed that government initiatives are vital to raising awareness about the said issue. Furthermore, approximately 77% were highly interested in volunteering towards raising awareness and helping the cause if the opportunity arose.
Upon examining the subjective answers, it was found that almost everyone agreed on the fact that financial literacy was important for women to become more financially independent and to ensure they are not exploited.
With this essential information in hand, the group then crafted an extremely detailed plan to address the issue. Their logical approach led them to two branches of the solutions- one for urban settings and the other for the rural areas, to ensure the best possible results.
For the urban population, volunteers would be recruited by offering certain incentives like letters of recommendations, and the group would raise awareness through street plays in regional languages and dialects to ensure that a wide population understands the message. Pre-edited videos explaining basic concepts related to financial literacy would be shown to school children during online classes in regional languages and dialects for a wider reach.
Keeping in mind that self-help groups have shown immense progress in raising awareness about critical issues, the plans for rural settings would include establishing self-help groups that one volunteer would aid via the district government. To attract such groups, free fruits or sweets would be made available for members to take home.
The group also made sure that these solutions were sustainable in their approach to ensure proper implementation in the future. The entire initiative would first be run on a trial basis, with volunteers and the district government facilitating the entire initiative. This project instilled vital skills of communication and negotiation into the fellows. It proved to play a crucial part in helping the fellows inspect and plan projects on a practical level.