India’s First National Finance Olympiad for Schools

The Greenpeace, Save the Tiger, Ban on Plastic, Global Warming all of these are global issues which we see and hear about everyday. We express our concerns over this, share a heated argument with our friends and colleagues about it. And even update our Facebook and Twitter with posts about such issues.

These topics are an integral part of the times we live in and there are hundreds of symposiums and organizations working to assess and manage the situation. The success of these initiatives depends completely on participation of the citizens. However, most of live under the impression that these are all very large problems and it doesn’t affect me!

Let’s think about it! We have all been affected by unseasonal rain showers at some point of time. Our bathroom drains or sewages have clogged at some point because of plastic. There are increasing number of Leopard / Tiger attacks near our National reserves. The quality of our air is deteriorating every day! There are countless such examples to show that these issues affect us personally.

One such important issue that we see, hear and talk about is Financial Literacy and Inclusion! Before you stop reading, consider this:

How many people do you see affected by loans or credit cards debts these days? All of us have a higher standard of living but we are still running everyday to get somewhere and no one is reaching there. If you own 635 Dollars without any debt, you are wealthier than 70% of the World Population! That’s the financial state of the world we are living in!

Now you would say, how does it affect me? The problem is bigger and let’s put that in perspective first.

  1. India has one of the lowest Financial Literacy rates in the World – This means we are taught to become engineers, doctors and even astronauts but we aren’t taught how to lead a balanced and successful financial life.
  2. Only 19% of Indians have a savings goal or are aware about various means of savings – This means, whatever we are earning it is all going to a previous or a future expense without being saved.
  3. Less than 14% of Indians participate in stock markets and other investment initiatives – We are always told by our parents, don’t invest in stocks, you will lose your money.

Financial Literacy is an important aspect and an important life skill. Whenever we hear someone talk about Financial Literacy, we think it is a good thing but it is not for me! 

Children are now getting exposed to various financial products and ways to spend money at an early age! It is all the more important to equip them with the right set of tools and behavioural know how. If we don’t take action now, how do we expect them to do better tomorrow?

2 out of 3 children are going to do pursue a job which doesn’t even exist today! The same applies to savings and investments. Commodities, Futures and Derivatives were unheard of 30 years ago. Insurance was limited to life, health and property. Cryptocurrency was unimaginable at one point. But all of this happened! Either we were ready or unaware of them, these developments have happened nonetheless.

Complex financial products, Changing Forms of Money and High domestic expenses needs to be met with a well informed and sound financial acumen. If we don’t help our next generation with it, right now, it is going to leave them wondering what if I had only known about it earlier?

Financial Literacy is a global phenomenon! and yes it affects you, me and everyone! Posting on facebook or twitter is not going to be helpful! You can only make a difference when you decide to act on it! Take action and help your child / student be ready for the future!

As Akshay Kumar has said in one of his movies, “Samasya jab takk neeji na ho, koi haath nahi lagata!”. (Till the problem is not personally, no one takes action!)

Lets us know your views!

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