Financial literacy

This teenager plans to teach financial literacy to students in rural Maharash – Edexlive

Ek Prayaas is a ‘prayaas’ (meaning an attempt in Hindi) by Shaurya Kabra to spread basic financial knowledge, especially in rural areas.

Sounds like a huge task for a 16 year old, doesn’t it? But he has plans in place to accomplish this daring task.

But the story goes back a bit…

“From an early age, my interest in finance grew by seeing my parents involved in their business,” says Shaurya, who has participated in many dinner conversations involving discussions of business, finance and beyond.

And that, my friends, was this Mumbaikar’s initiation into the world of money.

He considered himself very lucky because he could refine his knowledge in the field of finance through his parents, teachers, books and various other sources. But at the same time, he was painfully aware that some children might not be so lucky. He felt the burning need to do his part. And the best way he thought he could achieve that feat was through a book.

Turn the pages
The idea behind the book was to teach people about financial opportunities and increase their understanding of investments and money growth. With this mission in mind, student from Jayshree Periwal International School, Jaipur started writing the book during his class X. Although he completed it during the pandemic in 2020, he further decided to refine the book during his summer vacation.

Now, before you start wondering when this book is going to be published. Calm down. Since his target audience is those who reside in rural areas, Shaurya felt that instead of publishing books and they look pretty in stores, he should instead visit villages on the outskirts of Mumbai and try to raising awareness where it is really needed.

Hence, the next task – Shaurya got the book, which he had written in English, translated into Hindi, Tamil and Marathi to make it more accessible to children in rural areas.

The teenager then published a small batch of samples in February this year to distribute the book only in remote areas, rather than just publishing it for an urban audience. Shaurya believes that financial literacy is a must, especially in rural parts of India where people struggle to earn money and then tend to be easy targets for scammers.

Work hard
Shaurya did a lot of background research, during which he sent Google forms to professional experts and financial investors seeking their advice on what topics he should choose, in order to make it user friendly.

As children were his target audience, the youngster made sure to incorporate fun elements throughout the book. “At the end of each chapter, metaphorically, I included crossword puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks and other interesting activities so that they could check their own understanding of the concepts,” Shaurya explained.

Distribution of the book to rural schools is acceptable, but he also realized that this would not be enough either, due to low literacy levels. Therefore, he went old school and read the book to them in March of this year.

It was tough, sure, but when did that hold back a goal-driven teenager? But he found it difficult to translate the subject into other languages ​​while telling the book in rural villages, especially in places where children could only communicate in Marathi. Since the readers were between 8 and 12 years old, he had to get into their zone for them to fully understand the theme. “I knew this book would only be a triumph if the children fully understood the subject, so I paid close attention and adopted simpler words and even added fairy tale elements”.

Needless to say, the children really enjoyed the book as it was very different from their usual curriculum.

SimplifyFintech is another initiative led by this youngster. The website was launched to help children his age learn about financial literacy. He also aspires to launch his own start-up. One day, but surely, one day!