Vittshala – The Financial Literacy Cell is a Centre for Community Engagement (CCE) initiative of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, specialising in disseminating financial know-how, primarily amid the underprivileged sections of the society. The cell functions through its projects focusing on various sections like unorganised workers, labourers, slum dwellers, school children, rural households and farmers with a notion to turn all and sundry financially savvy.
Inaugurated by Sh. Arun Jaitley on October 17, 2016, Vittshala has three projects in the NCR. Project Asha is dedicated towards semi-skilled and unskilled factory workers and domestic workers whereby awareness about banking services, savings, insurance, need for pension etc. are suggested through Govt. financial schemes cut out for them. Under Project Sahay, the attention is given on school children whereby an ethical and smart financial culture is ingrained within them from an early stage. Project Umeed focuses on Grade IV workers in colleges of DU wherein basics of financial schemes and investment schemes are explained.
Besides the three projects, there are two outstation projects namely Project Khushhali and Project Uttara. Both the projects have finished their two phases of operations covering villages of a whole district under each phase, making it a total of four districts hitherto. Project Khushhali covers the villages where the primary income is generated from agricultural and allied sectors. Under its recent phase, 25 cell members covered eight villages of the two blocks in Meerut district, personally reaching more or less 800 individuals. Engaging with the people the team diligently studied their economical status quo, heard out their financial whines and counselled them about financial products and the perils of informal credit and financial mismanagement. Moreover, the team gauged the penetration of various government schemes like Jan Dhan, MUDRA, pension schemes, SSY, insurance, crop Insurance, health insurance and consulted in length about every single one of them. To make it more eventful and effortless for the rural folks, the team performed lucid and recreative plays dramatising financial aspects. Project Uttara aims to spread the message of financial literacy in the remotest parts of Northern India and in its two phases, has made more than 2700 Indians financially literate. Project Uttara has motivated the locals to adopt healthy financial practices. Informative brochures on schemes (namely PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, PM- Mandhan Yojana, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, Fasal Bima) and on e-banking were distributed and a one-on-one interaction with the locals was held to survey and counsel them about these products.
Vittshala through these projects has left a vibrant impact on these people’s financial habits. A decent level of financial acumen is pivotal, the lack of which spreads a ripple effect on the other aspects of life. The people at Vittshala believe in weaving a better community by integrating this seemingly common yet rudimentary aspect of life.