Going by the televisions ads, online pop-ups and radio jingles, the general impression is that all parents are extremely concerned about their child’s financial future.
But what if the onus of a secure financial future is also on the child?
In a positive development coming out of Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district, a small savings scheme initiated by the State government, has become very popular with nearly 6,000 children depositing ₹1 crore in their ‘piggy savings accounts’ over 11 years, reports the Press Trust of India.
Speaking to PTI, Krishnakumar Soni, the Chhindwara District Cooperative Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said, “Since the launch of Arunodaya Gullak Yojana in 2007, around 6,000 children deposited ₹1 crore in the gullaks (piggy banks) that were given to them by 26 cooperative banks at various branches. Banks are also giving loans on these deposits for purposes like pursuing higher study, setting up businesses, for marriage, and other goals in life.”
According to this government scheme, the parents of a child can open a piggy bank savings account at the time of their birth with just ₹ 1.
“After opening the account, a ‘gullak’ with two keys is given to the child. While the account-holder keeps one of the keys the other key is kept with the bank concerned,” added Soni. “As per the procedure, the piggy bank is opened only when two keys are used simultaneously.”
These accounts are jointly owned by the child and his/her parents with banks offering a reasonable 8% interest.
“Deposits between ₹2,000 and ₹5,000 are turned into fix deposits which fetch a higher interest for children,” said another official to PTI.
Children in this Madhya Pradesh district have ended up saving amounts ranging from ₹17,000 to ₹25,000. “I started depositing money in the piggy bank when I was just a child. This habit has helped me save more than ₹25,759,” said Anil Shrivastava (13) who lives in Civil Lines area of Chhindwara town, to PTI.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)