Thursday, September 06, 2007

India steps up - economics for kids

I wrote about my visit to the Federal Bank of New York a few months ago. They publish comic books to teach children about money and banking, and I went through a few displayed copies when I visited. The comics are given free for classroom use, are fun and easy for kids to read. I think that they are a great way to teach children about money and have wondered why India can't have books like that too.

Looks like they read my mind. The RBI has just come out with its first comic book, called 'Raju and the Money Tree', to do exactly that. It's also free, and is even available online. But India's problems are different from that of the US, and the comics can help in other ways, as Regional Director of the RBI, Delhi, H.R.Khan says:

About 61 per cent rural and 40 per cent urban population is still out of the formal banking system. With the growing worry about ‘financial exclusion,’ a dire need was felt to increase financial literacy of laymen and make them aware of banking.

And yes, they are being published in 13 regional languages also - including Hindi, Oriya, Assamese, Bengali, Urdu and Tamil. More books are in the pipeline — on basic banking, rural poor, urban poor, electronic based no-frills accounts, currency and the RBI as a monetary authority.

I am immensely proud. Whatever anyone else may say, better late than never.

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