We requested those who have associated with “For A Good Start” to contribute articles to our website. This article is the third in the row and written by Shirly Rajan, a post office savings agent who is keen to acquire software knowledge. She also has large client base. As a matter of fact, this article is interesting as she narrates about the benefits of being an agent. In addition to agent’s benefits, she writes about a few good post office saving schemes that benefit our society.
However, I could not resist from not writing a few lines as foreword. Not about her article, but about her. None of you may ever hear about Shirly Rajan anywhere else. Furthermore, she is a simple and unassuming person who has little software knowledge and not much digital presence. But, apart from her regular job as a post office agent, she is into palliative care, welfare activities for children & old and church activities. Moreover, only a few who knew Shirly might have realized that she is an agent for positive change, in people and society.
As post office stopped all paperwork on savings schemes and moved to internet, Shirly had a dire need to gain software knowledge. At the same time, she wanted to help us as we are starting a new venture in software and education. Shirly also thought about her friends who want to become internet savvy. In addition to these, she also wanted to help her fellow agents to build their software knowledge to do core-banking in post office. She had a goal; she transformed that goal to cater to the needs of many around her. Her need triggered For A Good Start to launch Digital Me! course. And now, course material is freely available in our website, open to all who want to learn the basics of computers and internet.
– Salil Rawji
As a Post Office Agent
In our society, status of a salaried woman is more than that of a post office or LIC agent, even though the salary is not very high. I tried my level best to get a job with regular monthly salary. But, I was not successful.
In 1994, I went to a post office for sending a job application. There, I came to know about the work of an agent with post office. Authorized Agents are appointed by government and they are of great help to public. Agents share the information about the right products to prospective depositors; collect deposits from the depositors every month and do all transactions with post office on behalf of depositors. They will get commission from post office as they help to generate government funds. Due to their work, all three – depositors, government and agents are benefited.
I took the agency in 1994 and now I completed 21 years of service by the grace of God. God selected the best for me. There are no regrets looking back. I have time for personal matters, family affairs and social work. Enough money for my needs and to help others. I came in contact with many wonderful people. If I were employed elsewhere, I would only have time for myself, not for others or for engaging in social activities.
Post Office Savings Scheme
Post office savings scheme is safe and secure. Depositors can make transactions in any post office with core-banking facility. Post office has schemes for all groups of people. Current schemes are given below and the details given are subject to change from time to time.
Savings Bank Account (SB A/c)
Minimum amount for opening a savings bank account is Rs50/-. Cheque facility is available for a minimum balance is Rs500/-. A minor can also open an SB A/c. Deposit and withdrawal are possible any time.
Recurring Deposit Scheme
Recurring deposit scheme (5-year plan) is the most attractive scheme especially for average and low income groups. Such groups can avail the help of post office agents to make best use of this scheme. However, Depositor has to give the recurring deposit to agent or to post office, every month on time to avoid penalty. The recurring amount can also be paid yearly or half yearly. Moreover, those who make yearly payment will get a rebate. This scheme has 8.4% quarterly compound interest.
Monthly Income Scheme
Depositor will get monthly interest from this scheme. This scheme is for 5 years and the rate of interest is 8.4%. He / She can invest up to 4.5 lakhs in an individual account. At the same time, one can invest 9 lakhs in a joint account.
5-year National Saving Certificate
National Saving Certificate or NSC is good for tax exemption. In addition to tax exemption, NSC can be pledged as a security for taking loan. Rate of interest is 8.5%. Withdrawal is possible only after 5 years.
Senior Citizen Scheme
This is a five-year scheme with 9.3% interest given every quarter. The maximum deposit by an individual is 15 lakhs.
Kisan Vikas Patra
In this scheme, deposit amount doubles after 100 months (8 years, 4 months). There is no upper limit for this deposit. Pre-mature closure is also allowed after 2.5 years.
– Shirly Rajan