With the advent of COVID-19, all our lives went for a roller coaster ride. The harsh realities of life made people realize the importance of many things they had taken for granted particularly when they got confined to their homes. Job- loss and the absence of adequate savings made it difficult for people to make their ends meet. Prevailing circumstances forced people to break their fixed deposits, sell their assets and even borrow money but that never gave a permanent solution to their problems. Many used this time as an opportunity to discover their hidden talents and even polish their skill-sets. Some started looking for better options to invest in, to save more, and earn better returns.
Long ago, as a part of one of the camps conducted by my college I got an opportunity to visit a village. It was indeed an eye-opener and made me realize how a section of our society leads a happy life despite being unaware of the options they have, to lead a better life. They had their share of struggles, but that never stopped them from extending all the possible support to us (even financial) during the camp. Their love, care, and hospitality made me realize that happiness is never dependent on one’s financial status.
COVID and the subsequent lockdown imposed have made their lives miserable. They had given up hope due to the lack of income or savings and were clueless about how to carry on with their lives. Agriculture was the solution that came to their mind, but it seemed like a temporary solution, as they had to get back to work at a later point to have a reasonable income.
We had not been in touch after the camp due to our busy schedules. One day as I reconnected with them over the phone, I came to know about the struggles they had to undergo following the COVID outbreak. The knowledge I acquired via the internship at Hedge School of Economics enabled me to educate them on how Financial Freedom can help them lead a better life.
This one single act made a lot of difference to their lives. A group of people who were least familiar with banking at one point in time now regularly deposit cash and earn a fixed rate of return. And all this became a reality due to their realization that banking procedures are easy. Being poor, they had never thought about taking much risk earlier, but now they realized that banking processes and procedures are easy.
This is not a big change but as far as the concept of financial freedom is concerned, but I hope it serves as a stepping-stone for attaining financial freedom for a peaceful future. These small acts play a significant role in the lives of those around us and give them hope that the generations to come can lead a happy and peaceful life by attaining financial freedom.
Content Development: Sooraj Pai B, Yuva Ambassador, St. Aloysius College, Mangalore
Edits and Proof Reading: Aswathi S & Anju K, Niyog Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd.