Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BIS # 4326 DBRC for YOUTH FINANCIAL EDUCATION


by Marina D'Costa
CHEMBUR-MUMBAI, JANUARY 21, 2015: Connect All India (CAI) – a network for social and financial inclusion under the Don Bosco Research Centre, Matunga conducted a Financial Education session for Youth at the Kotak Education Foundation, Chembur on January 19, 2015.  The objective of this session was to motivate youth to work on their source of income, to enhance their savings behaviour and to enroll them into formal financial institutions.

About 30 youth participated, of which 10 youth were from the CAI communities enrolled into Kotak Foundation and 12 had submitted their documents to CAI for making of their Pan cards. Ms. Meghna, Co-ordinator at Kotak highlighted the challenges that youth faced during training and employment and the need to help them identify their financial constraints. She then introduced Ms. Marina D'Costa, Project Co-ordinator of the CAI who conducted this session.


The session began with a self reflection on daily expenditure finally culminating in the expenses in a month. Youth appeared to do very little thinking about their financial goals as most of them were waiting to get a job, earn some money and then save. The participants remarked that they had always taken their money for granted and had never considered a perspective like this before for savings. Characteristics of savers were discussed on a graph and participants were asked to choose which category they belonged to.

The participants found it hard to identify the areas of investments and returns, they also asked for assistance in knowing more about financial products. Majority of them had no bank accounts and after the session they made a choice to open one for their personal financial growth. Youth had not taken full ownership of their financial aspect of life. Ms. Marina also encouraged them to systematically operate their accounts and file all the identity documents and bank details.

Finance was taught to them in the context of behaviour and practice. The participants were encouraged to identify the asset that they could count on for security and then re-work on their financial goals as per their age. Before the session, investment was seen in terms of gold and property but post session, education, health, insurance, learning a skill too was considered as investments. The Kotak co-ordinator ensured the follow up of this session with Connect All India.

Don Bosco Research Centre under the Connect All India project has collaborated with youth based NGO – YUVA under their project Youth Force- to reach out to maximum marginalized youth in the city for Financial Education, also connecting them to skill training institutions, enrolling them to get their PAN cards and guiding them to open bank accounts. The basic module is designed by DBRC (Connect All India) and YUVA (Youth Force) which emphasizes on socio-economic conditions, employability status, source of income, expenditure patterns, savings behaviour, identity documents, investment perspectives, basic banking & financial products.

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