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

Unlike Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India: Ukrainian scholar tells 'Indian friends'

Counterview Desk In an open letter to "dear Indian friends", Anastasia Piliavsky, born in Odessa, Ukraine, studied at Boston and Oxford Universities (on a Rhodes Scholarship), and now teaches at King’s College, London, has said that she faces "deep moral dilemma", personally and professionally, over the "astonishingly unified Indian response to the war in Ukraine." Based on her interaction with a "number of thoughtful and caring Indian friends", in this letter, she says, she is "reeling at the ubiquitous silence at, justifications of or outright support for Putin’s terror, which now prevails in India, at the ubiquitous #IStandWithPutin and #istandwithrussia hashtags." She insists, India must understand, "Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India. Soviet leaders, beginning with (the Ukrainian) Nikita Khrushchev – who declared hindi rusi bhai bhai – built up deep political and cultural exchange with India." Text : I

Teesta treaty? Modi sends ball to Mamata's court amidst Hasina's mango diplomacy

By Samina Akhter*  Most Bangladeshi and India media reports say that the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has received 600 kg of mangoes from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as part of her "mango-hilsa diplomacy." Hasina also delivered mangoes to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month, according to the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in India. In all, 1,200 kg of Amrapali mangoes were delivered to the residences of the President and the Prime Minister of India. According to a Bangladesh's deputy high commission official in Kolkata, a few more chief ministers in the eastern region will likely receive similar gifts. Last year, not only President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi, but also the chief ministers of West Bengal, Tripura, and Assam also received mangoes from Prime Minister Hasina. Hasina delivered mangoes from Rajshahi, including kinds like Golapkhas and Amrapali, as it is the peak season for the delectable fruit in

Technocratic globalism, tyranny? Health Ministry warned: bill to 'enslave' Indians

Sandeep Pandey, Tushar Gandhi By Rosamma Thomas*  Union of Concerned Citizens, a group comprising Magsaysay Award winner Prof Sandeep Pandey, human rights activist Tushar Gandhi, former judge of the Bombay High Court BG Kolse Patil, pediatrician Dr Jacob Puliyel and several renowned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister cautioning him against tabling the draft Public Health Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. “The Public Health (Prevention, Control And Management Of Epidemics, Bio-Terrorism And Disasters) Bill, 2017 and a Prospective Bill of 2022 as discussed in news articles, is straightforwardly violative of Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India and therefore, Ultra Vires of the Indian Constitution. It contravenes several International Treaties and Conventions including the Nuremberg Treaty of 1947 which was enacted to ensure that no country would repeat such inhuman medical atrocities on fellow human beings”, the 12-page letter reads. “Strangely, t

Cops 'refuse to register' complaint after BSF shot landless worker off Bangla border

By Our Representative  Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convener, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), referring to the incident of “firing and execution” of a poor Muslim youth, has alleged that the 26 year old was was shot at “without giving any warning” one and half kilometers inside the Indian territory from Bangladesh border by an on- duty Border Security Force (BSF) personnel. Stating that the person, Ruhul Mondal, belonged to an Other Backward Class (OBC), and hailed from Ramnarayan Para village under Sagarpara police station in Murshidabad district, West Bengal, Roy in his representation said, the BSF person who shot at him is “attached with Singpara Border Outpost, 141 Battalion”, underlining, the BSF has now floated “self defense theory” to cover up its operation. According to the BSF officials, the incident took place in the jute fields in

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Protesters demand release of Teesta Setalvad, Sreekumar, seek review of SC order

By Our Representative  Protests broke out across India on June 27 following Teesta Setalvad’s arrest demanding her immediate release. Sabrang India , a site run by Setalvad, claimed she was “arrested on trumped-up charges after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition moved by Zakia Jafri demanding an investigation into the larger conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat violence.” The protesters also demanded release of former DGP Gujarat police RB Sreekumar, also arrested simultaneously. The protests were preceded by over 2,200 people from across the globe signing a statement demanding their immediate release. Leading signatories such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) general secretary V Suresh, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) convenor Medha Patkar, former Naval chief Admiral Ramdas. “The state has used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of state callousness and complicit

Electoral bonds scheme 'compromises' voluntary nature PM relief fund donations

By Rosamma Thomas*  The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is meant to collect voluntary donations from the general public, either individuals or organizations, to enable assistance to people in times of natural disaster, or for expensive medical treatment. That fundamental voluntary character of the fund, however, has changed in recent years.  The gazette notification of January 2018 announcing the Electoral Bond scheme states, in Clause 12 (2): “The amount of bonds not encashed within the validity period of fifteen days shall be deposited by the authorized bank to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund”. The Union government has, thus, through notification, directed funds to be deposited into what was meant to be purely voluntary. Commodore Lokesh Batra, who has been campaigning for transparency in government functioning, holds that once a gazette notification has been issued directing that funds be deposited into the PMNRF, the character of the whole fund has changed,

Bulldozing houses in UP: India isn't Israel, Muslims living here 'aren't Palestinians'

By Naveen Tewari, Sandeep Pandey*  A recent full front page of the advertisement by a Bhartiya Janata Party government declares, 'House is not just a word. It is a place where power to dream comes and aspirations are fulfilled. Home is much about dignity and security than it is about shelter.' It further goes on to quote Narendra Modi, 'It is my dream that every Indian has a pucca house by 2022.' The occasion was dedication of houses built by a private builder Balaji to the poor. Having witnessed over the past few days the now iconic picture of a bulldozer running down the Prayagraj house of parents of female Muslim student and activist Afreen Fatima, who participated in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests, one is almost tempted to look for a fine print at the bottom of the page to the effect that the promise of house is subject to the condition that one doesn't participate in any anti-government protest otherwis

'Highly abnormal': AltNews journo's arrest suggests 'deterioration in media freedom'

By Bharat Dogra*  Leading media organizations have come out in strong support of recently arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair. These organizations include, among others, the Editors Guild of India, the Press Club of India, the Delhi Union of Journalists and DIGIPUB, a platform for several important digital media organizations. All these organizations have condemned the recent arrest of the noted journalist and demanded his immediate release. While leading human rights organizations and political parties have also made somewhat similar statements, the strong support of media organizations is particularly important as the effort of the authorities has been to try to present the arrested journalist as someone who has been indulging in irresponsible journalism.  In such a situation the support of those media organizations who are familiar with his work and who are most capable of judging the quality of his work is very important. In this context it is important that some media organization

Presidential candidate: With Congress in crisis, opposition makes 'wrong choice'

Draupadi Murmu, Yashwant Sinha By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was interrogated for nearly 50-60 hours for five days by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Summons have also gone to party president Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case. Everyone knows the reality, that “National Herald” was a mouthpiece of the Congress, and earlier of India’s freedom movement. It was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru. In recent years, this paper and its sister concerns, “Navjeevan” in Hindi and “Kaumi Awaz” in Urdu, were defunct. The paper suffered serious losses and was closed in 2008. Rahul Gandhi was instrumental in reviving it in 2016. All the issues related to the case are basically technical in nature, based on interpretation. One cannot really say that somebody made money, but things do happen on the advice of lawyers and chartered accountants -- people follow certain pattern to protect their businesses. It depends on which side of the coin you are on, and how you interpret it.