In a bid to get around the demonetisation-induced cash crunch, a tribal-dominated village in Jashpur district has virtually become cashless with the residents adopting digital mode to make payments.
Jariya, located 5 kms away from Jashpur district headquarter and 450 kms from state capital Raipur, is perhaps the first cashless village in the district where all shopkeepers have accessed e-money transaction facilities.
Residents of Jariya have avoided the chaos of cash crunch and adopted cashless mode of payment with the initiative of local administration and panchayat, said a local district administration official.
The village with a population of around 1386 has 263 families, about 80% of them tribals. Of the total population, 515 people possess Adhaar card, ATM card and bank account while 260 use mobile phones, he said.
The owners of all eight shops in the village have shifted to digital mode of payment including POS (point of sale) machine, the official added. Though Jariya has no bank but it enjoys good internet connectivity through mobile networks due to its proximity to the district headquarter, making cashless transaction possible. The official said the villagers are now using cards or e-wallet to make payments.
Behind this digital push is the village Sarpanch Sanjay Lakra who got an equal support from the district administration. Notably, Jariya was earlier declared 'open defecation free' after construction of toilets in each and every house.
After demonetisation exercise, Lakra decided the village should also take measures to use digital channels for transactions and help villagers overcome the cash crunch woes, including standing in queues at bank in Jashpur. Simultaneously, local administration has launched a campaign to make villagers familiar with digital economy and banking, as a result of which those without bank accounts now have them.
Now, almost all the account holders have linked their mobile number and Adhaar number with the bank accounts, the official added.