Since the days of bank nationalisation in the 1970s, financial inclusion has been at the center of developmental policy in India. Yet 41.3% of households in India did not have access to banking services in 2011. Since then, the launch of the Jan Dhan Yojana has seen the number of bank accounts increase substantially. However, financial inclusion needs to be looked at more holistically both horizontally (providing more services to BOP households) and vertially (better integration of households above BOP but still excluded from credit).
During the summer of 2010, I interned with Bandhan Microfinance in their HQ at Kolkata. I surveyed 109 beneficiaries of Bandhan's developmental projects across 9 rural and semi - rural branches, including Haringhata, Champahati and Haridaspur. These 'credit plus' interventions were being run through four programs - Education Program, Health Program, Targetting the Hardcore Poor Program and Employing the Unemployed Program. Click here for video interviews with some of the beneficiaries of these programs.