3500 garment workers from Ananta Jeanswear Limited in Tongi withdrew their salary for the very first-time using ATM card recently. The ATM booth was set up by The City Bank outside their factory premises.
Ananta Jeanswear Limited under the ‘Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion’ project took this initiative to financially include their workers by giving them access to the ATM machines. Over a series of the training session, workers get familiarize with the benefits of availing formal banking services (safety from theft/loss, better financial management for times of crisis, etc.). Sarathi also works with the commercial banks to make banking products available to the RMG workers. After successful training in all the areas, completing account opening procedures and ATM set up, finally, the workers were able to withdraw their salary for this month. Besides the ATM machine in the factory premise, the workers have also notified the nearest financial access point locations so that they can easily and confidently avail the service.
Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion, is a 30-month project which started from January 2018 and will continue till June 2020. The project is funded jointly by MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact.
The targeted outcome of this project is to bring at least 15 RMG factories onboard to disburse Ready-Made Garments (RMG) workers’ salaries through bank accounts and improve their basic financial literacy on topics as mentioned above. After successful completion of the pilot phase from January 2016 to December 2017, benefiting over 1,100 RMG workers, the project will now scale-up its direct reach to at least 60,000 RMG workers with formal banking services and products. Overall, 200,000 RMG workers and related community members are expected to benefit from financial literacy and awareness campaigns that will be offered by the project.