Skip to main content

Jharkhand adivasis receive letters in English on how to use debit card: State Bank of India's "digital" drive

The letter sent to Kusheshwar Paharia
By Our Representative
In a cruel joke on Jharkhand adivasis, State Bank of India has sent debit cards to its poor clients with instructions in English on how to use them, says a report.
The letter, says Anumeha Yadav, who has reported on this, contains instructions on how the client could use his first debit card – “check for tampering. Sign the reverse of the card. Change your PIN to a more familiar combination. Make sure your four-digit PIN stays confidential”, and so on.
Quoting one such instance, of Kusheshwar Paharia, a resident of Nathgoda village in Jharkhand’s Godda district, who received the debit card in “a thick packet” by mail, Yadav says, “It contained a letter from the State Bank of India, with which he has held an account for the past seven years, and a Kisan Card with the image of a farmer couple.”
“Kusheshwar, the manjhi or headman of Nathgoda, never went to school. He speaks fluent Paharia and Santhali, and a smattering of Hindi, but no English”, reports Yadav, adding, “The letter Kusheshwar received from the bank is entirely in English, which no one in his village can read.”
The report quotes Kusheshwar as regretting, “I take the cattle out to graze every morning, and stay in the forest the whole day. How do I know how to use it? The letter they sent is in English, no one in our village can read it.”
Others in the village, says the report, received similar packages by post. This happened soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remonetization dreams began fading after the November 8 noteban misadventure, creating a publicity blitzkrieg about the need to go digital even in rural backward areas.
Khusheshwar Paharia
The tribe to which Kusheshwar belongs is designated a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) and has the smallest population among adivasi communities in Jharkhand. There are 2.2 lakh adivasis in Jharkhand who are included in the PVTGs, and Kusheshwar’s group makes up 13,682 of this number, Yadav reports.
The adivasi group the lowest health and education indicators, she says, adding, some residents of Nathgoda even received similar plastic cards in 2015 after opening bank accounts.
This made four of them had made the 10-km trip downhill to Chandana, to the State Bank of India branch there, where one of them, Dharmendra Paharia, reportedly met the bank manager and asked him what they were to do with the cards.
“The bank manager asked, ‘Do you sign, or do you put a thepa, your thumbprint? Do you know how to count 1, 2, 3?’,” Dhamendra is quoted as recalling. Adds, Yadav, “Most of the villagers count in the Paharia way, calculating in sets of 20 or kodhi, where they use the term kodhiyon for 20, dokodhiyon for 40 and so on. But this is not numeracy by the government’s standards.”
“When we told him we cannot sign or count, the manager told us, ‘This is of no use to you. Go home and burn the card’,” Dhamendra is further quoted as saying.

Comments

Unknown said…
A great story. We rarely get to read such stories. Congratulations.

Schemes are formulated and implemented . The agency responsible for execution/implementation of the schemes never bothers to find out if the schemes give the desired benefits to the targeted beneficiaries. This is the problem every where. The people, for whom schemes are drawn up and executed, are left far behind.

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Lost to commercialisation, vanity? Ashram awaits 'second assassination' of Gandhiji

Counterview Desk  Around 130 “concerned” citizens, in a statement, have protested against the Government of India and Gujarat government decision to turn Gandhi Ashram into a ‘world-class’ tourist destination spread over 54 acres at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, which would include a Gandhi Ashram Memorial, an amphitheater, a VIP lounge, shops and a food court, stating it would compromise and trivialize the “sanctity and importance of the present-day Ashram, mainly Hriday Kunj, surrounding buildings, and the museum.”

Tussle between Modi-led BJP govt, Young India 'key to political battle': NAPM

Counterview Desk  In its month-long campaign, civil rights network National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) carried out what it called Young People's Political Persecution and Resistance in “solidarity with all comrades facing political persecution and remembering human rights defender Stan Swamy…”

Govt of India has 'no moral right' to declare national day for Muslim women, Naqvi told

Counterview Desk  In what has been described as a nationwide outpouring of condemnation, following the announcement by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of Minority Affairs, declaring August 1 as ‘Muslim Women’s Rights Day’ to mark the anniversary of the Triple Talaq law, over 650 citizens have said it is nothing but "cynical optics" of using Muslim women’s rights in the face of an "unprecedented" onslaught against the rights of the Muslims in recent years.

Debt bondage, forced labour, sexual abuse in Gujarat's Bt cottonseed farms: Dutch study

By Rajiv Shah  A just-released study, sponsored by a Netherlands-based non-profit, Arisa , “Seeds of Oppression Wage sharecropping in Bt cottonseed production in Gujarat, India”, has said that a new form of bondage, or forced labour, exists in North India’s Bt cottonseed farms, in which bhagiyas, or wage sharecroppers, are employed against advances and are then often required to work for years together “without regular payment of wages.”

Covid: We failed to stop religious, political events, admits Modi-dharmacharya meet

Counterview Desk An email alert sent by one the 11 participants, Prof Salim Engineer, on behalf of the Dharmik Jan Morcha regarding their "religious leaders' online meet" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as offering "support to meet challenges of Corona pandemic", blames religious congregations, though without naming the Maha Kumbh and other religious events, which apparently were instrumental in the spread of the second wave.

Madhya Pradesh Adivasis protest externment notice to Barwani tribal rights leader

By Harsing Jamre, Nasri Bai Ningwal, Prakash Bandod*  Over 2,500 Adivasis mobilized in response to Barwani district administration’s recent move to issue a show cause notice to Valsingh Saste, a prominent Adivasi activist of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), Madhya Pradesh. For two decades, Valsingh Saste as an activist of JADS has been continuously leading struggles for the constitutional and fundamental rights of Adivasis.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How Madhya Pradesh cops, ABVP 'pressured' varsity to cancel scientific temper webinar

Apoorvanand, Gauhar Raza Counterview Desk  An online petition, signed* by over a thousand citizens -- mainly activists and academics -- titled “Attack on scientific temper”, floated by the civil rights group Anhad, has strongly protested against  to use of administration to cancel an International Webinar on Cultural and Linguistic Hurdles in the Achievement of Scientific Temper under the pressure of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the BJP's student wing.