Battling ignorance

Santosh, a resident of Ballia Uttar Pradesh, was denied an ATM card by his local bank branch.  A friend advised him to seek support from the counselors at the Eyeway Helpdesk. The helpdesk informed Santosh that the bank was denying him of his basic rights. They forwarded to him the RBI and IBA guidelines that clearly state that a visually impaired person cannot be denied an ATM card. The guidelines also mandate banks to make their services accessible to visually impaired customers. Santosh approached the bank again, this time equipped with the right information and attitude. The bank has finally issued Santosh an ATM card. The battle is only half won. Santosh is still struggling to get a cheque book issued in his name.  Most banks do not have the technology that recognizes thumbprints. This poses a major problem for those with visual impairment to avail of services like cheque books. With the coming of the digital India campaign one hopes for the situation to take a turn for the better not only in the cities but also in rural India.