Chennai, 08th March 2021: Hand in Hand India and Belstar Microfinance Limited came together to celebrate International Women’s day on 8th March 2021 to appreciate women’s contribution to the workforce and to launch a unique app designed for digital financial inclusion of women at the bottom of the pyramid. The Chief Guest for the virtual event was Flt Lt (Retd) Ms. Gunjan Saxena, India’s very own Kargil Girl. The event also witnessed the launch of the ‘Belstar Samrithi Mobile App’ for digital transactions by Ms Saxena in the presence of Dr Kalpana Sankar, Managing Trustee, Hand in Hand India and Managing Director, Belstar Microfinance Limited, Mr S Chandrasekar, Executive Director – Belstar Microfinance Limited, Mr. George M Jacob, Investor Director, Belstar Microfinance and other senior team members of both organizations. Launch was also followed by live demonstration and transaction using the app.

Developed in under 100 days, Belstar’s Samrithi app will cater to the digital inclusivity of 1.3 million women customers across India. The multifaceted app ensures that customers spend less than 60 seconds on all the services. The application is available in 4 vernacular languages (Tamil, Hindi, Marathi & Punjabi) apart from English. The app allows the consumers to pay via UPI from anywhere. The App also keeps easy tabs, so the customers can check their latest payments and a self-help option to get their queries clarified. The app is a timely support for women pan India who can safely transact digitally in a post Covid19 world. It was truly a special moment to have this unique app only for women to be launched on International Women’s Day!

After the app’s launch, the Chief Guest, Ms. Gunjan Saxena, the first woman to win the Shaurya Chakra Award in India, expressed her appreciation towards the team’s effort in bringing technology closer to the communities. Ms Saxena spoke about how women must be bold, break stereotypes and must chase their dreams. She also shared some of her experiences. Her speech instilled a moment of pride amongst the staff of Hand in Hand India and Belstar who attended the event.

The event concluded with the virtual felicitation of female staff with an ‘Award of Excellence’ by Ms.Gunjan Saxena, where she insisted the importance of gender neutral environment at home, focus towards self-development and the freedom of choic that every daughter must enjoy.

Dr. Kalpana Sankar gave an overview of Hand in Hand India and Belstar Microfinance to the audience. Understanding that poverty was multifaceted, Hand in Hand India works with an integrated approach covering child labour elimination, women’s empowerment, job creation, environment, access to healthcare and skill development. While Hand in Hand India provides social capital to women, Belstar provides the economic capital through timely and affordable access to credit. With a unique jobs for growth model, Hand in Hand India and Belstar have been instrumental in formation of 2.2 million self help groups. Dr. Madhu Sharan welcomed the gathering and Ms. Sahaana Sankar delivered the vote of thanks.