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Punjab National Bank is one of the many Indian multinational banking and financial servicing companies. It was founded in the year 1894 and as of March 2017 this renounced bank has successfully had over 80 million customers. Punjab National Bank has over six thousand branches all over the country and over ten thousand bank ATMs across all the cities.

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CRS initiative DAMINI

As of September 18th, 2018 PNB MetLife Insurance, one of the leading life insurance providers, launched their CRS initiative “DAMINI” to provide support to villages and suburban areas to girls and help them cope and have a safe and proper understanding in each stage of their life from childhood to progression into adulthood.

India is a third world country alongside Brazil and Madagascar and many others. Indian culture has the roots deep in its history of rich traditionalism and beliefs. Many of these traditions were of backward nature and have lead to the subjugation of class and sex separation. The repercussions of these unfair and blind beliefs and traditions can be felt even to this day and age.

One of the biggest issues that plague India as a country is the demeaning and subjugation of the girl child. Indian culture and tradition, though being diverse, preaches the notion that girls and women are inferior to men.

Throughout history, we can find numerous cases and periods where women were considered as weak and were denied any rights or liberty and were expected to live and abide by the rules and whims of men. Women were denied the right to vote and take part in decision making. The most identifying aspect was that they were denied the right to attain education.

As time passed, many national leaders and noble men and women stood against this injustice against females and have helped India into a new and more radical generation of mature and justified thought and liberty. Today, feminism is on the rise and girls and women all across the country can independently raise their heads with pride and power to claim what is rightfully theirs. In every urban city, men and women have become equals in almost every aspect, and the effect of modernism and rational thinking can be seen at every turn.

Unfortunately, even though the major cities and metropolises of the country have adopted and graciously accepted the equality of both gender on the same social platform, there are still some sub-urban places and villages scattered all across the country that are yet to be accustomed and informed about these changing times.

Many villages and semi-urban areas encompassing the cities of India still prohibit the education of the girl child. The distance from the cities makes it difficult for these villages to connect with the customs of the growing cities and hence they are still following their age-old customs. There is a lack of communication and girls and children are not being educated about their privileges and rights. Many of these villagers are poor and cannot afford to send their girls to school and have them educated. Due to this financial deficiency, girls and women are forced to live according to the norms of the ancestors and continue to be denied the most basic constitutional rights and liberties.

PNB MetLife Insurance is a type of life insurance that focuses on this aspect of semi-urban lifestyle and has made an initiative to help these underprivileged girls and help them to be empowered with the knowledge and education required for life. PNB MetLife Insurance has taken up this initiative to provide girls the correct knowledge about basic education and other aspects of life like menstrual hygiene, sexual abuse and also help girl know how to bring about financial stability and empowerment for themselves and their families. Being in rural areas, girls are often devoid of the knowledge of the world around them and also are not knowledgeable about their own body and social standing.  By being aware of the ins and outs of daily life and the benefits that a girl and woman can enjoy in today’s day and age, the women residing in rural areas can also rise as equals and be independent in Indian society.

PNB MetLife Insurance, by launching its CRS initiative “DAMINI” has begun supporting girl child education for one thousand underprivileged girls in the Moga district of Punjab. PNB MetLife Insurance is doing this initiative in partnership with “Nanhi Kali” which is an NGO of the KC Mahindra Trust and is acting as the executive partner in this initiative.

Goals of the DAMIN Initiative

The CRS initiative DAMINI of PNB MetLife Insurance has a primary goal and endeavour to provide aid and education to girls and women for each stage of life and growth that a girl child goes through. The main aims and goals that this initiative wishes to achieve are:

  1. Child education:

    In rural areas such as semi-urban land and villages, the girl child is often denied the opportunity for education. This is due to many reasons. Often the family of the girl child is not financially strong and cannot afford to pay for the education of their child. This leads to illiteracy and causes the girl child to be oblivious of the progressing society and the opportunity to be knowledgeable, independent and financially strong in the future.

    On the other hand, there are some families who still cling to the traditional thoughts so the past and continue to believe that the sole role of a girl in society is that of a wife and mother and nothing beyond that.  Being illiterate themselves, they force upon their dogmatic beliefs on their daughters and prohibit girls from taking any step towards independent social footing and financial stability.

    PNB MetLife Insurance wishes to abolish both of these hurdles that are hindering girls and women from progressing and striving for success in their own ways without the help and influence of others.

  2. Knowledge of sexual abuse:

    Not only in India but across the globe, women are subjected to sexual abuse like public harassment and rape. It is vital to know about this that girls and women, children and adults alike, can take up the necessary measures to prevent this from happening to themselves and others. Women in villages are often targets of sexual abuse and rape as they are not clearly aware of this concept and the means to prevent such atrocities from happening.

    DAMINI aims to provide knowledge about such acts of sexual harassment to all the girls in the suburban and rural areas in order to make them aware of the risks and threats that lie in life against them. By providing the awareness of such acts and spreading knowledge among girls, PNB MetLife Insurance aims to help bring about safety for girls so that they may be able to walk in society without any fear of being attacked or targeted.

  3. Menstrual hygiene:

    Menstrual hygiene is another topic of discussion which is very rarely touched upon in rural areas. Due to lack of education, women are not allowed to talk or take the required measures to be ready for their menstrual cycle. Both girls and women are not very knowledgeable about their bodies and how it functions. Not maintaining proper hygiene during one’s menstrual cycle can lead to many diseases and problems in the future. The birth rate is often seen to be higher in the rural areas than in cities as women do not have much knowledge of their bodily functions.  Lack of menstrual hygiene often leads to physical pain and problems and can also cause irregularities in the new born child.
    Making girls in rural villages aware and more knowledgeable about their menstrual hygiene can help them have more confidence in themselves. Women will be able to manage their cycles and also be aware of more products that are cheap and can be used to control, regulate and maintain menstrual hygiene and in turn their bodies.

  4. Financial empowerment:

    It can still be seen that in many families the prime earner is the male. Even in semi-urban places, the man is expected to be the sole bread earner while the woman is expected to be docile and a homemaker at the most. No financial independence is given to the female and must be on a leash of the dominating man. Other times, women are not trained and are not let upon the skills and the tricks of the trade that are required to achieve financial empowerment for them.

    PNB MetLife Insurance, with its CRS initiative “DAMINI” aims to empower girls with the knowledge and the skills necessary to be able to be financially viable and independent without the aid or rule of some other force. Doing this will improve literacy and the economic stature of the family and the girl child as a whole. Not only that, the morale of all other girls who are oppressed will increase, inspiring more and more girl children to opt for more skills and techniques that will allow them to earn for themselves. Being able to be financially empowered is a crucial aspect of everyone’s lives. The skill and opportunity to make the mist of one’s talents to be monetarily stable and be able to sustain one’s self is what PNB MetLife Insurance aims to achieve via its DAMINI initiative.

    PNB MetLife’s DAMINI initiative will be able to educate and help support two thousand girls from government schools of Moga and Varanasi. By engaging the girls in concept based learning systems and cooperative learning with bi-annual evaluation, PNB MetLife Insurance hopes to empower the underprivileged girls of the country.

    This initiative also provides school kits to girls, which include school bags, uniforms, different stationary items and also hygiene maintenance products. The progress and development of these female students will also be monitored by the executive partner of this initiative, Nanhi Kali, a NGO in order to handle and appropriately tackle the dropouts.

    Many volunteers have also opted to help the girls in the event of any timely issues that develop in the course of this initiative. This action will help change the mentality and outlook of backward and traditional mind settled individuals and help build a more positive and a better influential attitude towards the girl child.

    PNB MetLife Insurance has consistently strived to give the society a chance to better itself and through this effort wishes to create a safe and more privileged atmosphere for girls and women to be able to exert themselves in a more independent and expressive manner. Through this initiative, PNB MetLife Insurance hopes to make the society of India a more understanding and safer place for women to co-exist and have the same number of opportunities that are presented to the rest of the of the members of society.

    This initiative is a broad and bold effort to make the Indian culture more accommodating and respectful towards the female section and help improve the diversification that Indian as a country is proud of. Helping the female class of rural society will help and boost the progress of socialism and further the cause of humanity and create an environment where both men and women can stand on equal footing regardless of where they come from.

    Monetary empowerment, education, and safety are what equip women and girls like to take the world head-on and bring about a change that will revolutionise gender equality. PNB MetLife Insurance has introduced an initiative that challenges the traditional and outdated dogma of specific gender supremacy and is helping in creating a diverse field of endless possibilities where both men and women can participate as equals and bring a sense of strength and unity in all societies that are prevalent all across the nation. Empowering the young girls and minds of the nation today shall help pave the way to a brighter future tomorrow and that is exactly what the DAMINI as an initiative hopes to achieve in the near foreseeable future. This is done with a holistic approach and concentration on all aspects of education and awareness.

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