India Post's Darpan project help in changing lives of rural India
New Delhi: Gone are the days when people residing in remote villages of the country used to traverse miles for their banking needs as the India Post's ambitious project Darpan, which was launched to provide banking services to un-banked rural population through post offices is turning out to be a gamechanger in achieving financial inclusion.
It may not go down well to all other banking service providers as India Post has crossed one crore mark of transactions in a month through Darpan project. In March alone, the project registered one crore transactions worth of Rs 1,509 crore and the figure would go up in succeeding months.
According to a senior government official, the mandate of the Darpan project was to strengthen the infrastructure facilities in branch post offices by equipping postmen with handheld devices. Darpan stands for digital advancement of the rural post office for a new India
"Under the scheme postmen were provided handheld devices, which is little larger in size than the POS machines and devices are being used to provide doorstep banking services to customers residing in even remotest part of the country," the official said, adding that the facilities such as money transaction, online payment for Rural Postal Life Insurance, booking of registered letters, speed post, money orders, etc are being availed by the customers.
"The Darpan project, which was launched in December 2017, has scripted a new success story in a very short tenure. In the months of January and February, the banking transactions through handheld device were 93 lakh and 97 lakh respectively," the official said, adding that about 7.50 lakh premiums of the postal life insurance and about 5 lakh registered letters/speed posts have been booked through handheld devices in a month only.
As there are challenges of connectivity in remotest villages, so we are improving that by installing signal booster antennas in those areas, the official further said.
"Rural areas in the Naxal infested states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are also covered under the Darpan project and response is commendable," the official said, adding, "We have opened 1,700 branch post offices in LWE areas in the year 2018-19 and the target is to open over 2,000 new branch post offices in the year 2019-20."
At the launch, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha had said that the Darpan project, which aims at digitalising rural post offices would change the lives of rural people.