The Madhya Pradesh government’s small savings scheme for children in Chhindwara district has become a hit with around 6,000 children having deposited Rs one crore in their piggy bank savings accounts over last 11 years. “Since the launch of Arunodaya Gullak Yojana in 2007, around 6,000 children deposited Rs one crore in the gullaks (piggy banks) that were given to them by 26 cooperative banks at various branches,” said Chhindwara District Cooperative Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Krishnakumar Soni. He said banks are also giving loans on these deposits for purposes like pursuing higher study, setting up businesses, for marriage and other goals in life.
Under the scheme, the piggy bank savings account can be opened by parents of a child since his birth with just Rs one. “After opening the account, a ‘gullak’ with two keys is given to the child. While one of the keys is kept by the account-holder the other key is kept with the bank concerned,” Soni said. As per procedure, the piggy bank is opened only when two keys are used simultaneously, he added.
“Piggy banks are opened every month for depositing money. These banks accounts are jointly owned by the child and his/her parents,” Soni said, adding that an eight per cent interest is given on these bank accounts under the scheme. “Deposits between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 are turned into fix deposits which fetch higher interest for children,” he said. One of the depositors, Naman Jain (14), a resident of Golganj area, said he had deposited Rs 17,543 in the piggy bank account.
Another account-holder Arthav Chichole (15), a resident of Patel Nagar, said he had deposited Rs 19,314 in the piggy bank account. “I started depositing money in the piggy bank when I was just a child. The habit of savings has helped me save more than Rs 25,759,” said Anil Shrivastava (13) who lives in Civil Lines area.