RURAL DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT MIDDLEMEN.
Among the nationalized banks, United Bank of India, with strong base in the North Eastern States along with West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar, these are still the backward States without any substantial development since our Independence. As a person who spent at least and almost a decade in different capacities in North East by accident and pure coincidence, have witnessed in person the struggle of the people of that part in India.
Our bank is the only bank which lead in our efforts to lift the mass of population from poverty to upright and honorable living we had devised more and unique programmes in rural development than any other nationalized bank who, are mainly catering to the need of the rich in big volume to make big profit or utter disaster, when the big corporates take a fall, suddenly those banks can turn red overnight. The classic example is ICICI with their huge and big clients not doing well; they lose crores in few months,
On the other side those who bank with small farmers and tea estates, do well at least when the harvest and climate is favorable. Even when we lose at least the fact that it has been spend on the farmers, who otherwise would have perished is the comforting and most noble act among fellow bankers.
As far as, the contribution and target group had been the farmers, who needs a helping hand, is a fact. Maharashtra, among the most industrialized and the home for the biggest banks along with Gujrat the cradle of Industries and banks still did nothing, when those farmers in Maharashtra committed suicides out of sheer despair and helplessness due to the apathy shown by our so called big banks, which were in fact only catering to the Rich few, is the most ignorant act I have seen in recent times. There was also the report that even the administrative heads, did not enquire by going to the spot and addressing the bereaved families. This is appalling ignorance of the worst kind and god will not forgive those who were preaching farmer friendly, were not seen addressing the concerns and well being of the affected families, at least those among them who lost their only bread earner. So many numbers were also reported from Andhra as well.
If such incidents are rare in North East is itself credit to our great institution and the few who came out with strategies in helping the villagers under so many schemes developed by UBI alone in bringing up the standards of the poorest in Orissa, Bengal, Bihar along with all the seven North east States.It was not surprising that our Institution got the best peforming bank in rural development almost three years in a row.
My sincere appeal to all the Nationalized and New generation banks are to concentrate on Rural areas and the Self Help Groups especially women, should be given more funds because those funds will definitely go in to making the standard of living better and struggle free, unlike the hand to mouth existence, when they just do not know where tomorrows food comes from. This situation will be most sinful for those who indulge in luxury spending volumes of hard capital for putting up huge manufacturing hubs to compete with developed countries.
Few big corporate cultures will only do more harm than good, but for of course, they do generate employments. But first ensure the survival of farmers for the base and their products should be procured directly by the Government giving them good price on the produce, once they do well Big Companies will also start to do well, as with out consumer empowerment, there can not be a rise in the demand and without demand, when the supply is higher, naturally and simple economics logic says, the price comes down as there are no takers. India will not shine alone with our Metros; the shine should now be the rural side, which will be healthy and more stable than any other strategy such as pumping money in to the mouth of big sharks, is a waste of reserves and wrong policy. The beginning or starting point has to be rural development and empowerment along with harmony and anxious free life for each citizen. Big sharks have to survive or perish according to their own merits; there is uproar when a private and rich individual is not doing well, while utter pin drop silence when a farmer commits suicides.
Fortunately, we are seeing the seeds of change being planted, let us wait and see whether it blooms for a brighter tomorrow or dooms with middlemen eating up the major chunk meant for poor.
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