Agartala, 2 June :Bandhan Bank, the universal bank with inclusive banking at its core, has been making a meaningful contribution to the welfare and development of communities and people across the country. The journey of transforming human lives has crossed an important milestone of 20 years recently.
The foundation of Bandhan was laid in the form of an NGO, Bandhan-Konnagar, which was founded on April 11, 2001. Bandhan-Konnagar continues to be Bandhan Bank’s implementing agency for the developmental work that it undertakes, which has touched the lives of nearly 30 lakh people across India.
Bandhan’s development programmes focus on various sustainability initiatives such as enhancing livelihood promotion, health, education and employment generation. The goal is to make the underprivileged financially literate, self-sufficient, independent and bring them into the mainstream economy.
For example, Bandhan-Konnagar’s programme called Targeting the Hardcore Poor (THP) is uniquely designed to help uplift the poorest of the poor. Grants – in the form of free assets, not cash – are given to destitute women. They start generating income from these assets and are consequently able to sustain their livelihoods. It has been seen that within 18-24 months of this grant intervention, these poor beneficiaries start to uplift themselves from extreme poverty and get linked to mainstream society.
Through the THP programme, Bandhan improved the lives of over 1.25 lakh beneficiaries all over the country. Many of them have risen from extreme poverty and earnings a stable income with which they support all the needs of their families. Since 2010, more than 3,000 people in the state of Tripura have benefited from this program.
Similarly, the Bandhan Health Programme (BHP) has educated and empowered more than 20.16 lakh people across the country to lead healthier lives. These people have benefited through the tireless and uninterrupted efforts of 12,163 Swastha Sahayikas (volunteer health workers) and 989 staff members. A special emphasis is placed on children under the age of five years, pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls regarding safe motherhood, child nutrition, and sanitation issues. Health volunteers are selected from among women in the villages after providing them adequate training.
Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, when people have faced difficulties, Bandhan Bank has stood by them through its developmental work. In semi-urban and rural areas, the most critical issue is building awareness around COVID-19, and educating people on the preventive measures they need to take to keep themselves and their families safe. Swastha Sahayikas and staff members of the Bandhan Health Programme are actively working hand-in-hand with the respective government bodies and local authorities in rural communities to impart awareness about the coronavirus, and encouraging people to practise preventive measures to check its transmission.
In Tripura, Bandhan started this program in 2010 and this health program has so far benefited around 38,000 people here.
In addition to this, to impart free education to unprivileged children in villages, Bandhan has been running non-formal primary schools in five states under the Bandhan Education Programme (BEP). Over 1.66 lakh students have received primary education under this programme. This programme aims to reach out to children from economically constrained families with a special focus on the girl child. Since 2012, this education program has benefitted around 11,000 students of Tripura.
Since Bandhan’s founder, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, has his roots in Tripura, the state has a special place in the heart of its founder, and in Bandhan’s present and future plans for the state. Going forward, Bandhan remains committed to accelerating efforts around its developmental projects for the welfare and development of the people of Tripura.