Technology can be a tricky thing; especially if you belong to one of the most remote regions of Nepal. Laxmi Kathayat is the Centre Chief of Pancheshwor Mahila Bikash Kendra in Rajpur, Dipayal of Doti. She is also a teacher at a local school and is a reputed person in her community. Laxmi is vocal and more empowered in comparison to other women in her community. However, when Kisan Micro Finance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd (KMBSL) introduced tablet banking in her centre, Laxmi was a bit apprehensive. “I was a bit nervous as I had never seen a tablet before,” she shares.
“When KMBSL told me that they wanted me to conduct the centre meetings with the tablet, I was not sure if I could do it,” Laxmi further says. However, knowing her leadership skills, KMBSL entrusted her with the tablet and things became easier for Laxmi after she received two days training from KMBSL on using the tablet to conduct transactions.
As a partner of UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme, KMBSL has introduced Tablet Banking in Laxmi’s community to make transaction easier and faster. In a community where not a lot of women have time to spare outside of their home, Tablet Banking hopes to encourage more women to seek financial services.
The introduction of Tablet Banking has resulted in less paperwork and more productivity too. “Due to tedious paper work to record the transactions, the meetings took almost the entire day. But now, by using the tablet, I can finish the meetings in a few hours,” says Laxmi. The women in her group also seem to have renewed self-esteem. “The use of the tablet has made us feel important in our community. Our group can return home and proudly say that they have been a part of a group meeting which uses technology,” Laxmi remarks. “This has boosted our self-confidence and personally I feel like I am using my time more productively now,” Laxmi proudly says.
(Text and Photo: Suman Dhakal, Sakchyam)