From Cashless To 'Less Cash', Madhya Pradesh's Badhjiri Has A Tale To Tell

Tucked away in the shelves, the card swipe machines are now gathering dust. Of the 30-odd shops here, barely 4 or 5 use these machines.

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From Cashless To 'Less Cash', Madhya Pradesh's Badhjiri Has A Tale To Tell

The government admitted there are issues and said those would be fixed

Badhjiri, Madhya Pradesh:  From connectivity issues to electricity, life in Badhjiri, which grabbed headlines last year for being the first cashless village in Madhya Pradesh, has come a full circle.

Tucked away in the shelves, the card swipe machines are now gathering dust. Of the 30-odd shops here, barely 4 or 5 use these machines.

Amid much fanfare, Badhjiri, around 25 km from state capital Bhopal, was adopted last year by Bank of Baroda under a digital village scheme. But after a year, cashless transactions have become a distant memory because of electricity, connectivity as well as digital illiteracy.

"The swipe machine was only used for the first 2-3 months. There are technical glitches in the machine and also I can't swipe a card for a Rs 10 purchase," said Jitendra Solanki, a shopkeeper.

Shopkeepers like Jitendra are also worried about the 1.6 per cent charge on every transaction.

Of the 3,000 villagers in Badhjiri, nearly 2,000 have debit cards but only a handful use them. "I don't feel like using a card, I am more comfortable with cash," said a villager.

The villagers of this cashless village alleges they have "less cash" because of acute water crisis and the government should address the problem first.

Further, not many people have smartphones in the village and also a poor mobile connectivity, are among reasons why the village has returned to its old ways.

The government admitted there are issues and said those would be fixed. "We have saved Rs 57,000 crore. India is moving forward in digital experiment and achievement. There are some issues will have to fix them," said Ravishankar Prasad, Union IT Minister.

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