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Modi confers award on Tripura block for financial inclusion

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Agartala, April 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conferred an award on Tripura’s Mandwai block where every tribal family has a bank account.

Mandwai block’s feat in financial inclusion and financial literacy, besides according benefits to tribals, has made it a role model.

Mandwai’s Block Development Officer (BDO) Monohar Biswas said: “Of the 12,910 families comprising 55,050 people, there are 21,984 bank accounts with more than one bank account in many households.”

In the Mandwai block, over 95 percent people are tribals.

Mandwai, 30 km north of Tripura capital Agartala, had been till recently plagued by insurgency apart from widespread ethnic riots in 1980s in which hundreds died and many were displaced.

West Tripura District Magistrate Abhishek Singh told IANS: “This Mandwai block has achieved over 100 percent target in providing access to banking and financial services and has become a role model for the others.”

He said: “As a result of financial inclusion, more and more tribal people of the block are now connected to banks.”

Biswas told IANS that “almost all villagers in the Mandwai block area had no bank account and they were not even interested to open one. We conducted 180 general-cum-financial literacy camps in the area, conducted door-to-door campaign and gradually their mindset changed”.

With a population of 3.7 million, with one third of them tribals, Tripura today has a literacy rate of 96 percent as against 55 percent in 1993, when the Left Front returned to power after a five-year interregnum.

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