I bet when you were asked, what you would like to be when you grow up, your answer would not be a bank manager at the age of 13. Well, little Sonu is showing kids in general, and adults just the same, how to save money. The street kids of Fatehpuri, Old Delhi, have banded together to form a bank called the Children’s Development Khazana. This is really a bank by street children, for street children aged nine to nineteen. They are able to deposit as little as a couple of pence to a pound and are able to withdraw up to 5GBP, while earning up to 3.5% on their savings.
Little Sonu was a runaway, and had started working at a tea stall, but she didn’t like that very much. It was then that she met some volunteers from the Delhi based child rights organisation called Butterflies who told her about the bank. Now she manages it and goes to school as well.
Street children often complained of losing their money simply because they have had nowhere to put it. Now they do. Sheru is a regular customer of the bank and sells water bottles for a living. He puts all his money into this bank and right now has saved about 5000-6000 rupees so far (that is about 50-60GBP), and he hopes to save more to buy a camera so that he can live his dream of becoming a photographer.
Other children are able to save their monies and have been able to attain higher levels of education and have even started small business enterprises. This banking system has served to motivate these young children who otherwise had no hopes for the future; for those who did, there was just no way to make their dreams come true.
No longer can others, possibly with more than these children have, complain that they cannot find any money to save; these children are saving all they have-investing in a better future quite literally. Now, this model is hoped to be copied by Afghanistan, Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The street kids of India have paved the way for a new generation of saving. I think it is about time that you begin dusting off your piggy banks and doing the same.
By Kerry Ann Stewart
Bank by street children, for street children
The street kids of Fatehpuri, Old Delhi, have banded together to form a bank called the Children’s Development Khazana. This is really a bank by street children, for street children
Kerry Ann Stewart