Evolving Participatory Relationships for Uplifting the Urban Poor Rickshaw pullers: Next Step Forward
This paper provides the results of a study the aims of which were two fold. One was to enable a small number of 50 rickshaw pullers in India to get a personal identification document through the UID/AADHAR platform and to facilitate their link up with mobile banking or bank accounts (NFAs). The second was to obtain a firsthand sense of the challenges, problems involved in banking the unbanked pullers and to investigate whether these migrant pullers would embrace the bank account by shifting from their informal modes. The study was based on participant observations, intensive discussions and flash interviews, and daily tracking of cycle rickshaw pullers – both personally and telephonically. The paper made the following observations:
- Migrant rickshaw pullers have severe time constraints due to their short spells of migration. With their minimal literacy levels and limited time and no safe options available, their trust in informal service provider is stronger due to social relationships;
- Doorstep banking services would be adopted without hesitation as it provided the flexibility (small amounts) and convenience;
- Reluctance for withdrawing from existing informal service is due to fear of losing access to a convenient service and to a non-negligible extent, access to credit.