Bal Vikas Bank(as called in India) or The Children’s Development Bank (as referred internationally) is an innovative concept conceptualized and initiated by the global NGO Butterflies, as a vehicle to empower street and working children.
According to the Butterflies’ website —
CDB is a natural development and evolution of Butterflies’ saving and credit union schemes, working on banking and co-operative principles. Any street and working child can save money with the bank which is their own and is run by children like them, under the guidance of adult facilitators. Implemented as part of life skill education, CDB enables its members to earn an interest on their deposits and its adolescent members to access advances for initiating small economic enterprises or cooperatives.
The Children’s Development Bank is managed by Butterflies nationally and internationally. Butterflies networks with grassroots NGOs across states and countries for partnership for this initiative. It interacts with partners and provides technical support to them, sets up and implements a monitoring and evaluation system against which the milestones are tracked, conceptualizes and implements several innovations within the project.
The National Foundation for India gave the initial seed money to initiate this bank. At present the CDB initiative is in Six countries- India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Srilanka and Nepal and within India in Leh (J&K), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Mujaffarpur (Bihar) and Kolkata (West Bengal) reaching out to around 5000 child members in the region.
More details can be found at:
- The Butterflies’ website http://www.butterflieschildrights.org/bank.htm
- The Bal Vikas Bank website http://www.childrensdevelopmentbank.org/
- A recent Rediff article on the same http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/aug/13bank1.htm
Question then is, do you prevent child labor, or do you provide a better life for the kids, within their context of rag-picking and beggary-filled lives? Please comment.