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A group of Indian street kids are showing the world's economic leaders how it's done – by setting up their own banking system.
They've set up a bank, called the Children's Development Khazana, where children can stash small amounts of money safely while they go to school.
It was set up and is run by street kids in the Fatehpuri neighbourhood of Old Delhi, India.
The bank is run by perhaps the youngest manager in the world – 13-year-old Sonu.
He said: “I ran away from home and started working at a tea stall. It was bad. Then I met some volunteers who told me about the bank. I came here. Now I go to school and I am the (bank) manager also.
“Kids make deposits. They can withdraw anytime if they have to buy something like clothes or eatables. The bank is open seven days a week.”
The bank was set up by children for children with the help of Delhi-based child rights organisation, Butterflies.
The charity's program manager, Shashidhar Sabnavis, said: “Street children were telling us that they lose their money. Or they tend to spend their money here and there. So, we at Butterflies decided on the idea of operationalising a bank for them."
The bank's guiding principle is that the kids make the rules and decisions – though grown up volunteers sometimes help out with 'logistical' issues.
Kids get an interest rate of 3.5 percent on their deposits at the bank.
Children aged nine to eighteen can deposit anything from a couple of pence to one pound. They can then withdraw up to five pounds at a time.
Fourteen-year-old Sheru, who lived on a railway platform, is a regular customer at the unique bank.
"I have started saving money in the Children's Bank. I sell water bottles. I put all the money that I earn into my account. I have saved 5000-6000 rupees (50-60 GBP) so far. I want to save more in the future.”
Sheru says he wants to become a photographer when he grows up. He hopes to save enough to buy a camera one day.
But he is just one of the children being helped by charity Butterflies – who also provide education, shelter and care for Delhi’s vulnerable street kids.
Shashidhar Sabnavis added: “They use their savings in the khazana (bank) to meet their future needs. Some of them use their money to go for higher education, or vocational training. Some of them use it to start small business enterprises."
The Bank initiative has won numerous accolades, leading to them expanding the scheme to other parts of Delhi.
Now Butterflies plan to introduce the initiative in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh as well as some parts of Africa.
Sharon Jacob, a child rights activist, said: “This program has to go out and reach as many needy kids as possible. It can change lives.
“This is a bank for the kids who live their life on the streets. The bank motivates these kids – it offers them a future.”