A First Bank AccountOctober 19th, 2023
Sangeeta Gupta, Embroidery Artisan at SMM Co-operative
Lack of access to banking remains a major financial obstacle for low-income women in India. Indeed, when MarketPlace began its financial literacy programs with artisans eight years ago, none of the women had a bank account. Many did not have access to the necessary documents, others lacked the literacy skills to navigate the bank's application process. As a result, they told us, their cash earnings were rarely saved. At our first meetings, we presented the benefits of having a bank account, inviting bank managers to speak as well. We took small groups of women on tours of the bank and helped resolve paperwork issues. For embroidery artisan Sangeeta Gupta, that community support made all the difference. "Before, I did not think seriously about savings and its benefits, but as I heard and listened to everyone, my views changed," she says. "I thought it would be good to keep savings for any sudden happy or sad events. So now I have an account where we do all our daily expenses and another where I put away the extra earnings. My way of thinking and saving has changed."