Banking correspondents risking lives to bring financial inclusion to India
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
In Bihar alone, at least 14 attacks on bank kiosk operators have been reported in the last two years
Mumbai: Zeyaul Haque, who runs a sparse market stall in rural eastern India, likes the respect he earns as the village banker. He has 10,000 customers who previously didn’t have access to savings accounts or cash withdrawals. There’s one drawback: Police escort Haque and his bags of money to work, and their protection is only temporary.
“I bought a pistol, said Haque, 31, who said he took over the business after his brother was robbed of Rs.5 lakh and shot to death in April by a customer and motorcycle-riding accomplices who had staked out his daily route to the nearest State Bank of India (SBI) branch. “This is a dangerous business. I’ve lost my own brother, but what else can I do?”