Tuesday, October 12, 2010


LONAVLA, OCTOBER 12, 2010: To further the process of Social and Financial Inclusion for the rural masses in Maharashtra, a workshop was organized at Maria Ashiana, Lonavla on October 10, 2010 by Don Bosco Research Centre, Matunga. Directors and Coordinators from fifiteen Rural NGOs of an NGO network from Maharashtra assembled to have a clear vision in their involvement in the Financial & Social Inclusion Programme. The Agenda also included with training on ‘filling up PAN (Permanent Account Number) Application’ form correctly.

Our research has shown that the UIDAI will take a few more years till its usefulness will percolate down to the villagers, while the PAN Card has been readily useful and playing a very important role in the lives of poor. But to make the PAN card service available to them, the NGO needs to be made aware of its importance for the rural people. Focusing on these issues it was expressed that rural poor, many a times lose their documents or don’t possess any documents to avail of benefits from the services/ schemes rendered by the Government. The poor can achieve an identity proof through the PAN Card to avail government services/ opening bank accounts etc.

NGOs after learning the process showed interest in making PAN cards for the rural groups they work with. Issues on practicality of the project operation with the rural target groups was discussed in the open discussion forum with the NGO Directors such as- ‘how to collect the PAN card application forms’ and ‘submission where about’ etc. Prof Prabha Desai, Director of Sanmitra (Collaborating Partner) being a Nodal Agency for PAN Card clarified that the forms can be couriered to the concerned NGOs and the application fees can be deposited by them in the nearby SBI branch by the NGO.Besides Pan Card, NGOs were keenly interested in the other financial inclusion instruments like SBI Tiny, Government insurance schemes, pension schemes etc. A deal is being negotiated with these financial instruments to obtain a better package for the NGOs to take this programme forward to the masses.

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