Changemaking for Financial Literacy
Anjana was elected an Ashoka Young Changemaker from India in May 2022. This story was written through a consultative process during their selection to our global community.
In a country virtually preoccupied with money, only a small fraction of its people (I.e., 24%) are deemed financially literate. The large majority of people struggle with basic tasks like writing a cheque or managing a personal bank account. Formal schooling has been largely inept when it comes to providing robust financial knowledge to students. For Anjana, financial education wasn’t a pressing concern, until this particular visit to the bank. “My inability to write a check or even understand the differences among bank accounts made me realize that even after years of education I had not learnt the basic life skills I needed to survive”, she said. Upon speaking to others about the same, she realized that this an issue common to all. This dismal state of affairs solidified Anjana’s resolve to do something about it. With the help of her friend, she started a digital platform called Fun Funds, a platform that would “teach everyone everything to do with money- from earning to giving”.
Anjana constantly reiterates the importance of being financially literate and how it has the power to improve one’s quality of life. In keeping with this belief, Anjana has designed Fun Funds to be an inclusive and accessible space. The platform, operating through Instagram, offers free financial literacy courses for different age groups. Fun Funds also tries to counter the stereotypes of finance as being something mid-numbingly boring through its super interactive and user-friendly interface. “Providing employment opportunities and free classes helps me to cultivate a safe space and ensure personal growth, development, economic opportunity and empower people's lives”, said Anjana.
Fun Funds has impacted over 800 people in their journey with financial literacy. Feedback and testimonials from her audience keep rolling in. Anjana recalled a specific case that helped her realize the impact of her work. It was when a fellow batchmate, reeling from an unfortunate death in her family, took up working and was uncertain about how to efficiently spend her salary. Upon turning towards Fun Funds as an educational tool, she reported feeling much more at ease with regard to her financial wellbeing. She had even started saving part of her salary!
Reflecting on her journey of changemaking, Anjana has some insights to share, “A great way to start is by talking about the cause you want to work for with people near you. Asking them about their experiences and their opinions tends to shape your thoughts and gives a start to your initiative.”
Anjana hopes that in the next few years, Fun Funds can be come to seen as a bible for understandable, fun and well-rounded financial education. “Our most exciting venture for the future is to release a financial booklet and app, all aimed at spreading financial literacy in fun and creative ways”, she said. She wants to be able to empower people to avoid financial mistakes and help them plan for a secure and strong financial future.
This story was written by Prachi Vats.