New Delhi: Be.artsy, India’s premier awareness enterprise led by Shikha Mittal inducted its long-time enthusiastic partner in investor awareness, the National Stock Exchange to spearhead and support the women financial literacy campaign “Be Your Own Lakshmi (BYOL)”. On the culmination of World investor week (23-29 Nov, 2020), 5423 women attended BYOL sessions through 132 sessions and another 8000 to be covered during this fiscal.
RBI, SEBI and NSE data, indicate that 80% of Indian women are not financially literate. The main reason was the pervasive attitude that women are not suited to understand finance.
This prompted Be.artsy to conceive a unique, women-centric financial literacy campaign, Be Your Own Lakshmi, also heading to be India’s first financial literacy course for women’s specific needs. This proprietary campaign uses Be.artsy’s arts-based approach to make complex topics simple and easy to understand. Initially targeted at employee training programs at companies, Be Your Own Lakshmi has now gained huge traction in 2020, when Be.artsy opened the program to individual sign ups.
Besides NSE, even educational institutions have shown great interest in BYOL. For example SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, has tied up with Be.artsy this December to bring the orientationsession to 40,000 women students, at the threshold of their careers. Professor Vishnu Magre, Pro-Vice Chancellor, says, “To educate its students on one of the most important life skills through Be.artsy’s on-going campaign, Be Your Own Lakshmi, can enhance employability skills of women.”
Dr. Harsha Merchant, Principal of Aishabai College of Education, SNDT University, where one of the initial sessions was run, is impressed with Be Your Own Lakshmi. She wrote to Be.artsy: “You have explained and discussed many concepts related to finance which were hidden for example, the difference between financial independence and financial freedom, concept of Saving, etc. Let all students apply this kind of knowledge in their future endeavors. [Colleges should] teach their students to become independent in real sense and reach towards the goal of ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT.”
There was also a widespread clamour for help for young women interested in starting up their own business. As a result, Be Your Own Lakshmi will soon offer several levels of courses. There is a free introductory session.The first-level course Basic Personal Finance, higher-level Be A Stock Star is for those interested in more advanced knowledge of investment. Budding women entrepreneurs can take the high-level Be An Entrepreneur course, which Be.artsy expects will get them a head start in the grueling world of startups, with its customised content for women.
Mittal expects the introductory and basic programs to hit thousands of women by mid 2021, when content will be released in several more languages.
BYOL session at Indigo Airlines, 2015: