SBI turns dreams into reality

SBI turns dreams into reality

TNT NEWS

Serving people with a different approach—from money lending to self sustenance; SBI turns dreams into reality  

SHILLONG: If an opportunity is all that it takes to convert dreams into reality, then the State Bank of India (SBI) is the gateway of prospects to realise one's goals.

The much sought after opportunities flows out not only from the exchequer of the SBI but also from the thriving passion of its employees who works endlessly to ensure that the under privileged section of the society gets a chance to level up their skills and income generation.

Crippled by the problem of unemployment amongst the youth, Meghalaya's economic growth is hanging in balance.

In its decade long service, the SBI has come forward with numerous initiatives to empower and improve the livelihood of the deprived urban as well as the rural folks.

Talking to TNT News, the Deputy General Manager (B & O) of SBI Zonal office, Deepak Kumar Lalla said that SBI is not just a financial institution but it is also a social institution which is dedicated towards the welfare of the people.

"Apart from banking, we have been involved in many social activities like providing school buses, ambulances, financial aid, scholarships beside others" Lalla said adding the expenditure incurred by SBI in a year for this purpose is approximately Rs 50 lakh.

Besides donating the gadgets, appliances and motor vehicles, SBI is also expanding its area of social work by focussing on the empowerment of the youth.

Recently, as many as 25 students from Shillong belonging to the under privileged section of the society, were sponsored for skill development courses in Avenues. "The main intention of this part of the programme is to encourage the young people to pursue their academic careers while providing them a chance to identity their skills and talents, to improve it and utilise it for their own growth," Lalla added.

Informing that these social activities falls under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the DGM said that the task of identification and selection of people who are in real need of financial assistance lies with the respective branches of SBI.

It may be mentioned that this initiative is not restricted to Meghalaya only but also to the other three states which falls under its purview—Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur.

Amongst the many initiatives, the one which tops the list is the implementation of the RSETI programme of SBI which identifies the young people in need of assistance, trains them in various fields of work like bee keeping, horticulture, beauty parlour, tailoring, piggery, etc and helps them set up their own businesses by providing them loans soon after the completion of the courses.

According to the Assistant General Manager (AGM) of SBI Zonal Office Nixon Joseph, the programme is currently being carried out in Umran, Ri Bhoi district and Tura, West Garo Hills. The process of identifying and selecting the candidates for the training programme lies solely with the respective Block Development Officers (BDOs) of the area.

The first programme was initiated at Umran in 2009 and later at Tura in 2013. "We are contemplating to have one more training centre in Jowai," Joseph said.

"The RSETI is an initiative sponsored jointly by Government of India, Government of Meghalaya and SBI. The State government's role in this programme is selection of the candidates and reimbursement of the funds spent only on food," Joseph said.

Meanwhile, SBI bears the responsibility of providing free accommodation and training to the trainees. He also said that the selection of venues for conducting the training programme falls under the supervision of SBI.

"We are currently functioning from a rented building as of now, but we are hopely that very soon, we will be able to set up our own training centre both at Umran and Tura," Joseph said adding that recently, the state government has allotted a plot of land for the purpose and the preliminary work is under process.

The AGM also informed that the funds required for the construction of the training centres will be borne by SBI with the support of NABARD.

Meanwhile, divulging more into the aspects of this programme, Joseph said that even after providing the candidates with the much required skills, SBI is still required to keep a check on their progress while ensuring that they avail loans from any bank to start their businesses. "After a year or two of completion of the training, SBI stills monitors the business of these candidates to ensure that they are independent enough to stand on their own feet," he added.

Since 2009 till date, as many as 1000 youth are being trained every year. This year alone, as many as 500 candidates received training and as many as 15 percent of them have been credit linked while others have been followed up respectively.

When asked about the response received by the programme, Joseph said that every year, more and more young people come in which only depicts that the plan nurtured by SBI for social as well economic growth is a success.

"For the programme to achieved 100 percent of its target, mere responsibility is not the answer but the desired effect can be achieved only if one has the passion to extend a helping to the poor and the needy," added the AGM.

The sole purpose of bringing in these programmes is to develop a two-sided communication between the bank and the people. "We want to create a strong bond between the people and SBI and to send them a message that SBI is not just a commercial institution but also a social institution working tirelessly for the social and economic growth of the people," DGM Deepak Kumar Lalla said.

He also said that amongst all the states in the country, it was noticed that North East region is still at its nascent stage in as far as economic growth is concerned. "Which is why, the responsibility and effort is more in this region," he added.

By Ibankyntiew Mawrie

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