Meet Poornima – A woman on a mission to empower her community with Financial Literacy
People who dare to dream and, dare to pursue their dreams are the real change-makers of the society. Poornima Bhavikatti is one such change-maker who has risen from the roots of rural India and has elevated an entire village towards financial stability and greater employability.
Hailing from the small district of Belegavi in the state of Karnataka, Poornima wouldn’t have imagined that one day she would be educating and transforming the lives of the people around her. Right from a young age, she had an eye for money management and planning household expenses and savings. Poornima also desired to be an educator and wanted to help others with her knowledge.
Her much-desired opportunity came knocking in the form of the "Jaadu Ginni Ka" program, supported by the Common Services Centres (CSC) and Vodafone Idea Foundation. Through the program, Poornima received training on essential financial skills and also understood the importance of empowering the women around her to raising the living standards of her district.
Working as a local SHG (self-help group) member that run a roti (rice/ jowar pancake) making unit, Poornima felt that her training had helped her a lot at her workplace. The unit she worked in, had an important mandate – employ single, impoverished women in need of a stable source of income. This objective is closely knit into the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA). Poornima and her team play a key role in mobilizing employment opportunities and enabling financial inclusion for her village.
Courtesy of the formal training she received through the Jaadu Ginni Ka program, Poornima was able to improve the functioning of her SHG by instilling crucial financial concepts into their practices. She trained her members to maintain record books of accounts and analyse their daily expenditures and income. She did not halt there, but went above and beyond to encourage them to create bank accounts and invest their funds in fixed and recurring deposits. Her initiatives were praised and recognized by the local panchayat and the community.
A highly motivated individual, Poornima believes that financial literacy is the need of the hour to transform the lives of the women in her community. "Aarthai ka Saksharta (financial literacy) has helped me immensely. I see it as a powerful tool to elevate individuals and the entire rural community. People need to understand how to use their wealth wisely and smartly. Many tend to spend all the money they have at once. My mission is to change this mindset", says Poornima with conviction.
Her constant efforts to instil financial literacy earned her the moniker "money mentor" in her community. People of all ages and backgrounds came to her for guidance and advice on how to manage their finances. She helped families create budgets, showed them how to save for the future, and taught them how to invest their money wisely. She also promotes government schemes like the Sukanya Samruddhi Yojana (SSY) that helps secure a girl child's future in the long run by saving for her.
Poornima is a woman on a mission, with a vision to empower the communities with financial literacy, making them empowered through basic concepts of investing, saving wisely, and redirecting it towards education and insurance plans. It will be interesting to see how many lives she touches in the years to come.