Jhariya residents take the lead, go cashless

RAIPUR: Taking a lead for for digital payment after demonetisation move of the government, a tribal village Jhariya in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh has adopted all methods to go cashless.
Situated about seven kilometres away from Jashpur Nagar, Jhariya village became the first tribal village of Chhattisgarh to go cashless with at least one person in almost every household who can handle digital transactions. Talking to TOI, Jhariya village gram panchayat sarpanch Sanjay Prakash Lakra said, “In our village, population is close to 1000 and most of the elders are literate and net savvy. At least one member of each household in the village has been trained to use Electronic Payment Systems (EPS). Also due to ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’ (MGNREGA), all the villagers of Jhariya have Aadhar cards too. So this process helped a lot in motivating people to adopt cashless transactions.”

Jhariya village has eight shops, including provision stores, fertiliser shop, fair price shop and vegetable vendors. All are familiar with point of sale (PoS) machines here and villagers use card to buy goods for their daily requirement, Lakra added.
Asked about the internet facility, Lakra said, “We are very close to Jashpur Nagar so it is easy for us to have internet access. Still we need free wi-fi facility to continue this cashless practice. Once we get free wi-fi, we will go completely hi-tech and smart for which we have some proposal.”

Most of the villagers own smartphones and have downloaded the mobile wallet of banks.
Sheela Lakra, a villager said that whenever I go to purchase anything- provisions or vegetables for my family, I go to the shop and swipe the card to pay the required amount. When contacted, Jashpur district collector Priyanka Shukla told TOI, “Most of the villagers have their bank account. Since demonetisation, villagers have become more sincere in using bank accounts. Due to high literacy, villagers are smart enough to understand the digital transaction. They are using all kind of transaction systems including e-wallet, Aadhaar card, plastic money and net banking.”