What is the best form of social work done till date by you? You have fed a hungry stomach, you have taught a child in need, you have given some clothes to poor, you have also helped some financially…..Yes, there is rarely a person who has not done one or all of the above. The satisfaction of helping a fellow human in need is not comparable to any other.
We always come across views which state that instead of helping with money make people self-reliant, let them earn on their own and be self-sufficient. We all know the merit of being self-sufficient but can seldom contribute in good measure to achieve this. But there are several organizations and people selflessly doing just that making people self-sufficient and empowered.
However, how many are really devoting time to look at letting this income last. They earn and they spend and there is hardly any penny saved for another day. I came across this inspiring venture by MetLife Foundation and Sesame Workshop in India (SWI); they are trying to make sure everyone saves little by little. SWI is also behind the hugely successful initiative of Galli Galli Sim Sim (the Indian adaptation of Sesame Street), which has kids glued to their infotainment segment and episodes. The new initiative is again an Indian adaptation of the global programme “Dream, Save, Do: Financial Empowerment for Families”. This is a unique global initiative on financial inclusion and empowerment for children in the age group of 3-8 years and their caregivers. The initiative has an apt and catchy name:
“Sapna, Bachat, Udaan: Aarthik Bal, Har Parivar ka Haq.”
Various Workshops are conducted at Harsh Vihar, Shahdara, New Delhi. SWI assembles young inquisitive minds and engage them for Mobile Community Viewings(MCVs). SWI has converted a vegetable cart into a mobile TV, which travels to each street of the selected area calling out for children to watch educational and entertaining videos on financial literacy. The kids gather around the TV for the MCV.
The event is followed by workshops. During the workshops, facilitators engage children in activities like making your own piggy bank and other activities related to saving and sharing.
- The MCVs and workshops aim to improve the knowledge, language and strategies on financial literacy thereby increasing the dialogue between parents and children
- These activities provide valuable knowledge about financial literacy and help both the parents and children to inculcate the concepts of sharing, saving, delayed gratification
- Partners of SWI will reach 50,000 children during the course of the project; currently they are starting the workshops with 5000 children
Financial Security is a major concern area for economically weaker sections. In case of any emergency they are caught completely unawares and the struggle begins for them. Because of this initiative SWI and Metlife are not aiming for immediate smiles but long term gains for the families.
The all too familiar Muppets from Galli Galli Sim Sim are used in presentations. Children can identify with those immediately and have already started to fill up their gullaks.
The childhood friend our own piggy bank which we have always used for splurging on chocolates and toys. The money saved which we thought is for buying many more is the key for fulfilling the basic requirements of these children and their families. Next time when you put a coin in your gullak say a little prayer for these little angels. May they find enough for an emergency and may hey never need to use it for this purpose.
You can get involved with this mission and contribute in your own way too. Visit http://www.sesameworkshopindia.org/press-releases/sesame-workshop-and-metlife-foundation-launch-sapna-bachat-udaan-a-financial-empowerment-programme-for-families-in-jharkhand/ for more details and volunteering tips. Help a cause in bringing about the change.
Other useful links: