Remittance service makes money transfer easy
Sabita Chaulagai, receiving remittance from Ninglasaini Saving and Loan Cooperative Limited at Dehimandu, Baitadi. Photo by: Bed Prasad Dhakal/Oxfam
Bed Prasad Dhakal, Baitadi
"It used to take me more than one and half hour to Gothalapani, the district headquarters of Baitadi and wait in a long queue in the bank to receive money sent by my husband," recalls Sabita Chaulagai from Bijanath Rural Municipality in Banke district. "I used to take leave from office for the same carrying my one and half year-old son,” said Sabita who works in a health post at Dehimandu of Dasarathchand Municipality-8 in Baitadi.
Like Sabita, many Dehimandu locals were compelled to go to Gothalapani due to unavailability of remittance service in their locality. To address the problem, Rural Development & Environment Management Society (RUDES) Nepal, a local partner of Oxfam in Nepal, with technical support from Prabhu Management initiated remittance service in August 2017 to Ninglasaini Saving and Loan Cooperative Limited at Dehimandu.
Though established some 20 years ago, the Cooperative had not started remittance service. Oxfam provided training on accountancy and safer remittance and human resource support to its staff operate remittance software together with knowledge on financial literacy. Similarly, Oxfam and partners provided equipment like computer, printer and internet service. Ultimately, the cooperative could start remittance service from September 2017.
With inception of the service, Sabita no longer needs to stay in long queues in bank. Instead, she receives money from a nearby Ninglasaini Saving and Credit Cooperative via remittance service. "When I need money, I simply give a call to my husband, who sends it instantly and I draw the money from the cooperative at my ease," says Sabita, adding that it is safer and easy since there is less chance of theft or loss as service is available at the doorstep.
As of January 2018, Sabita has received money from her husband five times while she has sent money to her sister in Kathmandu thrice. Bhagirathi Bhandari, a local said she has been receiving money sent by husband from Rukum via the remittance each month. Her brother also now sends her money from India.
“The cooperative has also started transferring money for mobile phone re-charge, booking passengers' tickets for air plane, paying customers' TV and electricity bills and is also planning to introduce ATM service from the Cooperative,” said Sher Bahadur Bohara, Manager of the Cooperative.
Oxfam has provided such support to four cooperatives in Darchula and Baitadi districts. As of mid-February 2018, a total of 306 persons received or sent money from these cooperatives and the transaction through remittance was NPR 8,135,657.
The cooperative also encourages customers to save their money and invest in business and enterprise development, Govinda Raj Joshi, executive director of RUDES, said, adding that some customers have become new members of the cooperative and they have started agricultural business, with the money received through remittance.