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City’s youth teach financial literacy to the underprivileged

Mumbai: Mumbai’s youth have taken a step toward financial literacy for the underprivileged by educating them regarding government schemes and other financial benefits which most of them are unaware of.

The non-profit Indian Financial Literacy Initiative (IFLI) was started by five youths of Mumbai with the vision of training underprivileged individuals in essential financial skills such as money management, investing and insurance with a special focus on government schemes and private schemes relevant to low-income groups.

Explaining the need of financial literacy, Saania Shaikh, one of the youth who founded the NGO said, “Once we met a woman in a slum in Mumbai whose monthly income was Rs 2000. When a man came with an investment idea at the slum, she invested her life savings of Rs 60,000 only to find out that it was a fraud. In a similar case, we met a family whose elderly had to be hospitalised and treated. Since they did not have insurance, they spent their entire family savings on the treatment.”

“These are just one in many real life stories that we hear about and our mission is to eradicate the helplessness of people in these situations,” added the youth.

The NGO was started in Mumbai and has been operating across India reaching over 1 lakh people in various communities across the states. “When we started IFLI, we began with the vision of teaching complex financial concepts in a fun and accessible manner through the use of stories, games, videos and keeping all our teachings in regional languages,” said Parth Gala, one of the youth who founded the NGO.

The NGO curates financial literacy sessions for specific audiences based on factors such as age, financial background, risk taking capacity, etc.

For underprivileged families, the youth have been teaching basic finances like banking including knowledge of different bank accounts, use of passbook, cheque books and ways to gain benefits of the PM Jan Dhan Yojana scheme.

They also teach digital literacy, investment, types of investments and the need to invest. They also explain various investment schemes such as the Public Provident scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, etc.

The youth have also focused on teaching the underprivileged the importance of insurance and various kinds of insurance schemes such as Aayushman Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.

Personal finance and loans including money management, budgeting, good money habits, different types of loans and good debt v/s bad debt have also been covered by the youth during their sessions.

Explaining the importance of teaching basic financial concepts to children from a young age, Shaikh added, “With children we follow a different method of teaching. We have designed a 2-day conference named ‘Financial Summit’ for school students where they learn key concepts such as personal taxations, investing, insurance, basics of corporate law, and entrepreneurship. The summit gives students the opportunity to engage in learning difficult financial concepts which are not usually taught in schools.”

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