A UNIQUE, and rather unconventional bank -- “Children Bank of Nawadih” -- wholly managed by students, functions at a school in Gaya district of Bihar with an aim of inculcating the habit of saving among students. The bank provides ‘loan’ to the children to buy articles such as pencil, books, notebooks, etc.
Located about 3 km from Banke Bazar Block headquarters, the bank has been set up by the Headmaster for the students of Nawadih Middle school.
Only students’ accounts are opened in the bank and loans are given to the students belonging to underprivileged families for items pertaining to their education. All ‘staff’ of the bank including ‘cashier’, and also the ‘customers’ are students. Headmaster Jitendra Kumar told IANS that the school has a total of 420 students studying in Class 1-8.
He added the bank was opened in August with an aim to provide financial assistance to the students hailing from economically weaker families and facing difficulties in buying essentials for the school.
Kumar said the students deposited the pocket money received from their parents in the Children bank instead of spending them elsewhere following which they are allowed to withdraw it as per their needs.
He said that loans up to Rs 1,000 are provided by the bank.
He apprised that the students operated the bank in their lunch break and used deposit and withdrawal slips that are used while conducting the transactions. The supplies can be bought at wholesale prices from the stalls set up by students in school. Kumar added the students who leave the school after Class 8th can get their accounts closed.
The students are reportedly happy with the bank and said that they get access to study materials on time without facing any difficulties. Block Education Officer, Banke Bazar, Dev Dayal Rekha appreciated the initiative and said that along with the habit of saving, it would develop responsibility, social skills and discipline among the students.