Non-profit

Celebrating Financial Literacy Month with Nirmaan Organization- a nonprofit securing wholistic life for marginalized community

Title- Nirmaan makes people financially literate through flagship programs.

In April 2004, the United States of America declared April Financial Literacy Month. This was done to emphasize the need for financial literacy and educate people on the methods and procedures that can assist them in being more financially savvy. In April, we celebrate National Financial Literacy Month, an excellent opportunity to assess our financial condition and skills. Financial Literacy Month is a challenge and a celebration.

We had a conversation with a wonderful team from the Nirmaan organization. The team included Sana Saleha, Program Manager. Nikhil Gampa, Partnership Manager, Imran Ali, Project Manager, and Sudheer Kameera, Project Manager. The nonprofit works in the areas such as education, skill development, entrepreneurship, and social leadership. They have impacted the lives of over 1 million beneficiaries through 12 Flagship Programs and Social Leadership Initiatives benefiting children, women, youth, and farmers from various social backgrounds across 8 Indian states.

Q
Could you tell us a little about your nonprofit?

Sana Saleha: Nirmaan Organization is a registered NGO, started by students of BITS Pilani in 2005. We work in the areas of Education, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Health and Wellbeing, Community Development and Social Leadership. In the past 17 years of our journey, we have impacted the lives of 2+ million beneficiaries with the support of 300+ full-time employees and a 1000+ strong volunteer network, through various impact-oriented Flagship Programs & Social Leadership Initiatives benefiting Children, Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), LGBTQ+ and Farmers from diverse social backgrounds across 18 States of India while partnering with 140+ Corporate, Government and Philanthropic partners. 

Imran Ali: We also do various important projects primarily focused on women. We give them the skill and training, and also, once they complete the skill training, we promote them as entrepreneurs.

Nikhil Gampa: We also do program design and fundraising, managed by the engineering and social sciences team in the background. We have been working across almost all the focus areas and focus beneficiaries.

Q
Why do you think financial literacy is critical?

Sana Saleha: I believe that being financially literate enables individuals to frame a better life for themselves. For instance, if students know abt student loans. They can use this to create the life of their dreams.

Imran Ali: As part of the digital media campaign, even the central government promotes digital transactions. Everything is now getting digitized. To do online transactions, you need to have prior knowledge of digital stuff. This is why now educating the people for the same has become necessary. It’s not that difficult because people are well-familiar with smartphones. All we need is to teach them how to be financially smart.

Nikhil Gampa: Basically, the marginalized community and underprivileged community are the ones that need to be focussed upon. Their day-to-day sustenance and livelihood standards will improve drastically once they know how to manage their finances. The ability to take or make them capable of making financial decisions is what we envision.

Sudheer Kamera: If we observe closely, the rural people are the ones that need this the most. Apart from that, students and youth need to be targeted to build their lives correctly. This would improve the human resource of the country.

Q
In what ways do you assist your beneficiaries?

Sana Saleha: We focus on having more financial literacy sessions for our beneficiaries. Our beneficiaries are not just restricted to education. We have them from various sectors like health, skill development center, and education. We brief them on: what the requirements are and what is the basic knowledge they will get at our NGO. We try to provide mentoring sessions to all. We try to arrange sessions with banks. This is how we tend to bridge the gap.

Nikhil Gampa: We train them on how to use different government apps. Also, how to put in your query related to financial knowledge.  We also explain to them the importance of savings. We also guide them regarding registering on the SME portal.

Q
What challenges do you face while implementing these activities?

Imran Ali: The most common one is to convince them to adopt or shift to digital platforms. The next is the non-availability of smartphones. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to android cellphones, so educating them becomes a bit of a tough task. The other factor is the belief that they instil in them. Whatever their forefathers did, whatever traditional practices they followed, that is what they want to cling upon. Making the switch to modern practices becomes tough. Challenges are especially convincing to adopt.

Q
 What are the ways we can promote the digital campaign, especially in India?

Imran Ali: In my opinion, creating awareness is the key to promoting a digital campaign. Training people and making stuff easily accessible to them are a few more ways to make any digital campaign successful. Availability of learning opportunities also plays a significant role in the successful running of any campaign.

Financial Literacy Month is not only a celebration but is a challenge. This is your opportunity to review your finances and gradually improve them. Gain access to the world of corporate volunteers. Get in touch with our team and share your Impact Story on our platform.

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