CRISIL 'Pragati' transforms lives of 1000 Rural Citizens in Assam

 | November 22,2012 11:59 pm IST

CRISIL, a global analytical company providing ratings, research, risk, and policy advisory services, has concluded the first year of its national financial awareness initiative, Pragati Progress through Financial Awareness, in Assam, North-East India. Organised in partnership with Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN), a non-profit organisation, the series of 25 sessions conducted over the past year has transformed the lives of 1000 participants, mostly women, including members of self-help groups, students and small entrepreneurs.

The participants were introduced to topics such as financial planning, cash management, savings, insurance and risk management.

Says Raman Uberoi, Chief Operating Officer, CRISIL, A financially literate population will have a ripple effect on the economy and also help promote a sound and efficient financial system in the country. As thought leaders in Indias financial markets, we are uniquely placed to convert our rich knowledge base and understanding into learnings for the uplift of the financially excluded and help them integrate with the larger economy. CRISIL is committed to spreading financial awareness as it closely aligns with our goal of making markets function better. Pragati was the first step towards this goal.
The sessions involved training in financial literacy in the participants native language. The first session was held in Sipajhar on March 19 earlier this year. Since then, Pragati sessions have been held in nine districts, some even in the remote corners of the state. The last session was held today in Guwahati.

The response to the sessions was extremely heartwarming, with participants whole-heartedly expressing the need for more literacy programmes like Pragati. Many of them had got caught in a debt-trap having lost their hard-earned money to unregistered companies and unscrupulous money-lenders in the past. When told about the various loan and savings products available in the market, many of them regretted not getting this training at an early age. Nonetheless, they felt empowered to make better financial decisions in future after attending the Pragati session and interacting with the instructors.

Dr. Amiya Kumar Sharma, Executive Director, RGVN, says, Pragati is a meticulously designed financial literacy training programme, which is helping people make better financial decisions. It is fostering greater financial awareness and discipline among people who dont have access to such sound advice and as a result, often fall into debt traps.

In future, CRISIL plans to take Pragati to more states in the North-East and also set up a train the trainer programme to accelerate the effectiveness of the campaign.