I am sure you are wondering about the headline…but do spare a thought. Have you ever wondered what your old servant will do when he/she retire?
Will they go to their village (many of them have no roots), will they live with their children look after them? Will they be able to sell their existing houses and use the capital proceeds to live for the rest of their lives?
Will you pay a pension to your servant? MOST of the servants do not even get a gratuity, forget getting a pension. So what do these people at the bottom of the pyramid do? Have you thought about it?
Well Gautam Bharadwaj also asked himself this question, and has come up with an answer. I had spoken to Gautam a few weeks ago but waited for a friend to actually buy this for his servant before I did the story. My friend had a good experience ..and hence the story. Why did I not do it myself? Well, I did not know whom to buy it for. Honest answer.
I will do the story in many parts…here..this is what Gautam said:
Gautam – “The more we spoke to friends about the work we did in the space of financial inclusion, i.e. enabling low income workers to save for their old age, the more wowed our audience invariably got. People would always ask us if they could do this for their maids/ drivers. After giving different variations of “No” to this question (Imagine the cost of meeting, educating, enrolling and then servicing individual maids and drivers located in different localities and different cities of the country!), we took this problem to the white-board, and decided to crack it. We read that there were about 40 million domestic workers in India, and a survey on maids and drivers across Delhi/ NCR showed not only the ability to save, but also the willingness to do so. Employers of this segment were also visibly keen to help their domestic help sign up for formal savings. With the facts laid down in front of us, we decided to reach out to these domestic workers through their employers, who were much easier to connect with, thanks to the internet. It was also clear that this workforce is highly migrant and would probably never use the internet, and so not only did the accounts have to be portable, but there was also a need for an offline system to service them and take care of all their requirements. And so, Gift a Pension was born. From the time we conceptualized it, to the launch this September 2014, it has been a very interesting journey. And when a front page article in the Financial Express talks about taking philanthropy online, and puts your initiative up with those of biggies like Amazon.in, it’s a great feeling. We hope that everyone we reach out to enables just one life. That can make a huge impact.”
This could be an amazing step towards a pension for the people at the bottom of the pyramid. I hope it works.
What is this? Well it is a Gift a pension scheme.
More on this in the next article. With links to the videos that Gautam shared with me.
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