L&T Financial Services Inaugurates Digital Sakhi Project in Karnataka

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Bengaluru: L&T Financial Services (LTFS), a leading non-banking financial company, announced the inauguration of its Digital Sakhi project in Karnataka. The flagship CSR project of the Company – ‘Digital Sakhi’ – trains and nurtures rural women, who in turn promote women’s entrepreneurship and Digital Financial Literacy (DFL) in their communities.

The inauguration of the project in Karnataka follows the success of the Digital Sakhi projects implemented in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal. Since its inception in 2017, Digital Sakhi projects have created a cadre of 960 Digital Sakhis who have helped upskill over 5,500 women entrepreneurs. In FY22 alone, Digital Sakhis trained and empowered more than 8.60 Lakh people across 5 states on DFL.

Through, the project in Karnataka, LTFS endeavours to create a cadre of over 300 Digital Sakhis as digital enablers, who, in turn, will impart DFL training to over 9 Lakh community members covering topics like digital modes of payments, access to government entitlements, goal-based savings, etc. In addition, the project aims to support over 3,000 women entrepreneurs in establishing and scaling their micro-enterprises through upskilling and enterprise-development training.

Dinanath Dubhashi, Managing Director & CEO of L&T Finance Holdings said, “Many of our retail businesses directly engage with rural communities giving us an all-encompassing view of customers’ needs, including the gaps that exist within the community. In 2017, addressing this gap was the genesis of our flagship Digital Sakhiprogramme which has resulted in significant achievements across all states where the projects have been implemented. Our Digital Sakhis have effectively helped empower rural communities they operate in by promoting digital financial inclusion, providing impetus to women empowerment and gender equality, thereby strengthening the nation at the grassroots level and contributing to the overall national development agenda.”

Speaking on the occasion, G.V. Krishnagopal, Executive Director, Access Livelihood Foundation said, “Economic inequalities and social prejudices have denied women equal footing and opportunities. India aspires to be a true world leader where every citizen does not struggle for basic needs and necessities. Technology promises to be a great equaliser if employed for the right causes and sensitively. The effort of LTFS to introduce cutting-edge solutions in financial inclusion with the right social architecture where rural women themselves will champion the cause is transformative. At the scale of 4 lakh households, it will be a large initiative helping India to achieve its mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

The Digital Sakhi project in Karnataka will be implemented in partnership with Access Livelihoods Foundation– a social enterprise that works with marginalized communities to reimagine their livelihoods. Access Livelihoods Foundation is also an AIM-NITI Aayog recognized Established Incubation Centre, primarily incubating women-owned producer enterprises across primary sectors to create equitable and lasting livelihood opportunities.