Thane’s Dhasai to become India’s first cashless village

November 28, 2016 08:25 am | Updated 08:25 am IST - Mumbai:

As the cash-versus-cashless debate continues post-demonetisation, a small village in Thane distrtict’s Murbad taluka is all set to become the country’s first cashless one. For Dhasai village, bypassing cash transactions is the culmination of efforts put in by local NGO Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak in collaboration with the Bank of Baroda, after the former approached the bank with a request to provide infrastructure.

NGO chairman Ranjit Savarkar, who is also Director at the Maharashtra Military School in Murbad, said at a press conference on Saturday that Dhasai will go fully cashless from December 1. “The effects of demonetisation have largely been painted in a negative way, particularly with regard to the effects on villagers. Recently in Parliament, Congress leader Anand Sharma wanted to know if a farmer could carry a debit card in his dhoti; the same farmer carries cash in his dhoti, why can’t he carry a debit card?” he said.

Mr. Savarkar said he chose Dhasai to implement his idea as its population is less than 10,000, adding there are three to four such small villages in every taluka in Thane district which could go cashless.

Navtaj Singh, general manager, Bank of Baroda, said, “We have provided Point of Sale (PoS) machines to around 100 traders in the village, and have waived off the installation security deposits and monthly rental. Villagers were initially hesitant as they believed going cashless was something that required a high level of understanding of technology. We held meetings with the villagers to dispel this myth and educated them in the use of the technology, which is not much harder than using a cell phone.”

During the meetings, the villagers were informed about various features of the PoS machines like electronic wallets and RuPay cards, whih can be used for all monetary transactions.

The writer is an intern at The Hindu

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