In line with the slew of measures banks are rolling out, post that dramatic demonetisation move, ICICI Bank has now taken up the initiative to transform 100 villages into ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ in 100 days. The digitization project is in series with the India’s first digital village created by ICICI Bank at Akodara in Sabarkantha district, Gujarat last year.

The efforts have been taken to bring digital ecosystems in Indian villages. Further it will assist the rural population in times of demonetization of Indian currencies.The project by ICICI Bank is in association with ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (ICICI Foundation), the CSR arm of the ICICI Group.

Action plan for the project includes providing free vocational training to 10,000 underprivileged villagers in coming 100 days. The training will specially focus on rural women. Further, ICICI Bank says Aadhar-based e-KYC will be enabled for villagers to open bank accounts. It will not only nullify the need of submitting physical documents but also  enable direct transfer of government benefits into these accounts.

Moreover, mobiles would be key source to  transfer funds, receive alerts & statements and make payments to retail stores. Such a system would be channelized through  unique SMS & USSD based mobile service provided by ICICI Bank. Therefore creating cashless and digital environment in rural areas.

ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar says,

We will create a cashless ecosystem at these villages, provide vocational training to 10,000 villagers in first 100 days and offer them credit linkages so that the villagers can start their own business ventures. I am confident that this large project will contribute significantly to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of a Digital India.

The training would be imparted under ‘ICICI Academy for Skills – Rural Initiative’ programme. The aim is to train 100 villagers in 100 villages in 100 days. The age limit for the free training is set at 18-40 years.Besides subjects for training include  agriculture, dairy & vermicomposting, agriculture equipment repair, hand embroidery, dress designing and sandstone cutting & finishing among others.

For bringing self employment background in villages, ICICI Bank will also facilitate credit facilities to the trained villagers in the form of Kisan credit cards, two wheeler loans and farm equipment loans among others. The project incorporates formation of Self help Groups(SHGs) to disburse these loans in a proper way.

The initiative by ICICI Bank will not only develop the rural population but also guide them towards digital India.

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