Friday, October 26, 2012

Financial literacy or just basic numeracy ? - first things first

So much talk of financial literacy for the poor and all that lecture bajji about computing the financial capability index and stuff like that – all sounded so western to me. The poor in the hinterlands, is drenched in traditional insights which the suave literate is hardly aware of . They take so much from the traditional knowledge systems and in turn confuse them with their overflowing words of literacy ; let alone the financial jargons -literacy ....a la microfinance institution. Often the poor and illiterate do succumb to phoney things in finance, it is still possible to confuse why addition and multiplication has the same result viz; 2 + 2 is 4 and 2 * 2 is also 4. See the enclosed ppt to see how the local moneylender confuses the poor – i made the ppt at a financial literacy seminar and believe me – “everyone hated it “ what is he saying” we say good things about ourselves in seminar ..... While the first job for me in a poor focused financial programme is to get them hold the pencil and write their name.... this is the lesson for an SHG to address !

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Works at NABARD for poor HH / was Research Affiliate at CDS, Tvm / was Visiting Faculty on microFinance for MBA students NMIMS, Mumbai.