July 25, 2020
Home  »  Magazine  »  National  » Covid-19/Good Samaritans »  COVID-19 Good Samaritans: A Banker For The Migrant Worker, It's Business With A Difference

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: A Banker For The Migrant Worker, It's Business With A Difference

Thanks to an Aadhaar-enabled system, John Pereira is offering banking services to workers in distress due to the lockdown

Google + Linkedin Whatsapp
Follow Outlook India On News
COVID-19 Good Samaritans: A Banker For The Migrant Worker, It's Business With A Difference
COVID-19 Good Samaritans: A Banker For The Migrant Worker, It's Business With A Difference

The lockdown that has gravely inconvenienced so many has barely scratched regular banking customers--they have options like branch banking, net banking and digital banking. But imagine the plight of unbanked customers, migrant workers in particular. Earning paltry sums, these often itinerant workers do not have the privilege of banking services and are dependent on business correspondents (BCs) to deposit, withdraw or transfer money. These services have taken a hit due to the lockdown, as most BCs have shut shop.

But John Pereira, 45, who runs SABS Enterprises, a money transfer business in the industrial town of Vasai, 60 km from Mumbai, is staying open for the sake of daily wage earners, all migrants struggling to survive after the closure of their factories. With no income, they have little or no cash.

Pereira requested authorities to allow him to keep his shop open so that workers can withdraw some money from their accounts. These, usually, are at a bank branch back at their hometowns where their families use pass books and ATM cards to withdraw money. Now, thanks to an Aadhaar-enabled system, workers use their Aadhaar number and biometrics to withdraw money, availing unique software that agents like Pereira have in their system. The required amount is credited into Pereira’s account and he gives them cash.

Considering Pereira’s spotless track record, local authorities acceded to his request to remain open. His now is the only money transfer outfit working still in the large industrial area—a beacon of hope for hundreds. He tries to stick to his regular working hours of 8 am to 10 pm. “What we get as commission (Rs 5 for a withdrawal of Rs 5,000) does not cover even the costs for staff, electricity and rent. However, we are doing this with the sole intention of helping people for whom survival s daily challenge. It is their blessings that motivate us and keeps us going,” he says.


COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Empathy, Its Penumbra

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: When RV Ramanan's Free Dialysis Shuttle Was Godsent

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: School Boy Arnav Rathore Is A Blessing For Needy Senior Citizens

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Transporting 8000 Kilos Of Rice, Age No Barrier For The Sekappans

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Offering An Entire Hospital Free, This Doctor Does The Unthinkable

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: 1500 Starving Monkeys, Goats and Dogs Get A Meal A Day

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Donating Fodder Online, This Mumbai Entrepreneur Duo Keeps Gaushalas Happy And Healthy

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Money Can't Buy Goodwill, Why This Garment Shop Owner Has A Heart Of Gold

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: No Time To Grieve Father's Death, This Cuttack Man Shows Amazing Work Ethic

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Meet The Hoax Busters And Their Unique Fight Against Fake Information

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Keeping Kashmir Safe, Why Shah Abbas Hotel On Dal Lake Is Heaven

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: How A Brand Specialist 'Sells' Time To Raise Funds For Corona Treatment

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: It's A Birdie! A Young Golfer's Drive To Care For The Underprivileged

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Plugging The Gap, How Citizens Have Risen To Combat Hunger

Next Story >>
Google + Linkedin Whatsapp

The Latest Issue

Outlook Videos