Anjali Vazare, a widowed woman residing in the Pathardi village of Jawhar block. She was widowed only 5 years after her marriage.
With no source of income, she had to support her 4-year old son and ageing in-laws in these dire financial circumstance.
To help Anjali obtain a sustainable income, she was trained by Tata Motors Integrated Village Development Initiative program partner BAIF Institute and appointed as the first eDost of this village community.
E-DOST, The Doorstep Banker
E-dost, as her village folks fondly address her, Anjali is the first government authorised service provider to Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS) not only in her own village Pathardi, but in the entire tribal block of Jawar block in the Aspirational Palghar District of Maharashtra.
A sudden demise of Anjali’s husband, threw added additional responsibilities to support her children and her ageing in- laws.
Today through AePS, she not only earns a sustainable livelihood but provides an ease to the villagers by making the last mile banking and allied services available right at their doorstep, which other-wise had made them travel some 15-20 kms and spend minimum Rs 30 for a small financial transaction.
In a span of ten months, she has achieved a turnover ₹ 9.6 lakhs. This clearly indicates a rapid acceptance and popularity of the services among the community.
Today, the 27 year old Anjali, provides her E-dost services to 4 villages and serves over 600 villagers. During the lockdown, she touched her highest turnover of Rs. 5,02,620/- for the month of May 2020.
Integrated Village Development Initiative (IVDP)
Tata Motors NGO partner- BAIF Institute for Sustainable Livelihoods and Development for Integrated Village Development Initiative (IVDP) in Jawar, Palghar district, identified and trained Anjali to use the AePs technology through an app on her android phone and a piece of equipment.
This initiative is part of our Special Project called Integrated Village Development Programme (IVDP) which is jointly run with the Office of the Chief Minister, Maharashtra with an objective to create a replicable model of a self-sustaining Gram panchayat through leveraging scale and machinery of government, speed and managerial skills and competence of corporate and ownership and governance of citizens.
- When did you become an e-Dost and how does it feel to be the first e-Dost in the Pathardi village of Jawhar block? Please share your experience including any interesting incidents.
Pathardi Gram Panchayat is a small village in Jawhar block. In the absence of banking facilities, villagers had to commute all the way to the main town to access basic banking facilities.
They had to wait in long queues and spend a considerable amount of money for their journey to the bank.
In 2018, Tata Motors and BISLD (BAIF Institute for Sustainable Livelihoods and Development) trained me to become an ‘E-dost’.
This not only helped me overcome some financial challenges but also assisted the villagers in availing banking services at their doorstep, saving them significant amount of effort, time and money that would have been spent otherwise.
The experience though overwhelming was an enriching one. I had to educate the villagers and create awareness about the E-Dost facility.
It really helped me in becoming a confident and independent individual. During the lockdown, many villagers availed my banking services without any hassle thereby leading them to get more comfortable using net-banking. The sheer smiles on their faces brought a great deal of satisfaction to me
- How did you come across the opportunity to work as a doorstep banker through Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS)? Tell us the story.
I started working with BAIF institutes of Sustainable Development, Jawhar as a community resource person to create awareness among people and to communicate the village level issues to the BISLD team.
It was during this time, we identified the unavailability of the basic banking services in the village.
Whether to make small deposits or to check balances, villagers were required to travel for hours that consumed half of their day and were required to spend anywhere between 30 to 40 rupees to travel the distance.
Considering this, The BISLD Team introduced me to the AePS system post which I went ahead and learnt how to operate it on a mobile phone.
Initially, I started going door to door to provide the services such as bill payments, mobile recharge, etc.
Additionally, I started participating in the community meetings in order to educate people about these services.
- Do you mind sharing your life story before joining as an E-Dost? How were you running the household then?
Before joining as an E-Dost, farming was my only source of income and I belong to the lower middle class.
I used to spend my time looking after my family – my child and elderly parents. Unfortunately, I had lost my husband soon after my marriage and due to my young child, I was unable to step out and work. These circumstances had put tremendous financial pressure on my family.
- What was the training process to become the first government authorised service provider to Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS) like? What were the major learnings from the training process? Can you also share your prior education background?
I have studied and cleared standard 10th exams. Tata Motors and BISLD provided me this opportunity of becoming an E-Dost under the Integrated Village Development project of Government of Maharashtra.
This enabled me to provide AePs banking services in Pathardi Gram Panchayat. BISLD team imparted detailed training about banking operations, AePs platform, handling bio-metric machine and cash flow maintenance.
I was a little hesitant initially due to the involvement of money but BISLD team displayed immense confidence in me and supported me throughout.
- Does the work make you feel empowered? If so, how?
Now, I am self-confident, financially independent and with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I am grateful to Tata Motors and BISLD who trained and empowered me to become the village’s 1st E-dost.
This opportunity has cultivated a new social image for me, and I am proud to say this has granted immense respect as the first business woman of the family.
Prior to becoming an E-dost, I hardly had 100 Rs. in my pocket and now I manage 1 Lakh Rs. as rotating fund with me. So far I have conducted transactions worth 40+ Lakh rupees.
- Can you share what your daily routine looks like from waking up till you go to bed?
My day begins early as I finish my household chores of cooking and cleaning. Post which I head to Jawhar bank and take the rotating cash.
By afternoon, I visit all the Padas (Hamlets) in Pathardi Gram Panchayat to provide banking services there.
I spend the rest of my day in the community hall of the village where people come to get recharges, do a balance check and avail other services. As the day ends, I record every transaction and the services provided.