ATMs and banks across India have been constantly crowded since the move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was announced on Tuesday night. In a small village in Gujarat, however, it is business as usual.
Akodara, India's first 'digital village' is located in Gujarat's Sabarkantha district. Situated 90 km from Ahmedabad, the village has been functioning normally despite the chaos demonetisation has brought to the rest of the country, as neither shops nor citizens of the village deal in cash.
Residents of Akodara have been using e-banking for everything. From buying milk and groceries to paying bills and drawing salaries, everyone here uses mobile phones for their payments. "We have got used to e-banking and hardly deal in cash and therefore the note scarcity has not hit us," Pankil Patel, a grocer living in Akodara told the Hindustan Times.
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The village of 1,200 people was adopted by ICICI Bank to demonstrate the kind of progress digitisation can usher upon a society. The bank, with help from the local administration, has helped every villager have access to modern banking facilities.
Going digital has also helped the village with better education facilities. Pranav Upadhyay, a high-school teacher from Akodara told The Hindu, "Earlier, teaching used to be between just the teacher and the student. Now we have a digital aid."
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