A tiny village in Maharashtra, Dhasai, has set an example for the rest of India fighting the demonetisation woes by going completely cashless

Dhasai has been successful in converting every transaction from cash to card via EDC machines. From Dec. 1 all transactions, whether by retailers, street vendors or service providers, will be done through swipe machines.

Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a revolutionary step to check corruption and terror funding by banning old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes. He has shown us a dream and has taken steps in that direction…In this journey, Dhasai has emerged as the first cashless village in the state. Maharashtra, too, will soon become a cashless state”.

With a population of around 10,000, Dhasai supports the trade and daily needs of around 60 other smaller villages around it. This scheme of cashless transactions has enabled the villagers to leave their homes with lighter purses. Although, a few weeks earlier, this wasn’t the case. The aftermath of launching the demonetization scheme affected Dhasai so badly that business was conducted on credit on a daily basis. The only two banks present in the village were Thane District Central Co-operative Bank and Vijaya Bank. Neither of them had any cash in the initial days of the ban.

However, everything changed when Bank of Baroda collaborated with NGO Veer Savarkar Pratishthan to make the village cashless. Villagers were trained in using digital banking and online modes of transactions by the NGO. Due to the average literacy level of the area, the officials chose to focus on educating on the usage of debit cards rather than mobile banking.”Nearly 40 percent of shops have already been given POS/EDC machines. In a few days, the whole village will become cashless” said Navtej Singh, general manager, Bank of Baroda, Mumbai zone.