BANK’S BUSINESS; Few Suggestions. Part…..3.

In part 1(BANK’S BUSINESS; Few Suggestions. PART….1) and 2(BANK’S BUSINESS; Few Suggestions. Part….2) of the blog, different suggestions were put forth for the banks for improving the health of their institutions. Three remaining suggestions are discussed here under:-

  • Creating different layers of income

Banks shouldn’t depend on only one type of income i.e from interest on loans and advances. They have now many other fields available for creating different layers of income such as (1) Bank insurance (2) Selling of mutual funds (3) Trading of shares          (4) Providing Depository services to clients(financial services for clients) (5) Making treasury operations more efficient (6) Better cash management (7) Providing fee-based services to various Govt. departments, institutions and Corporates for collection taxes, fees or their bills (9) Providing cash management services to big religious trusts, Corporates, railways, airlines, and metros etc.(10) Providing consultancy services for different activities (11) Providing non-fund based facilities such as letter of credits and bank guarantees (12) Acting as bankers to The Issue and underwriting the Issue of shares etc. etc.

Earning income is important but plugging its leakages by exercising effective control over all types of capital and revenue expenditures too is very important. ‘Spend where necessary but strictly avoid wastage’ is a mantra for an efficient control system on revenues.

All these services are very lucrative but require properly trained and dedicated manpower to handle these portfolios.

  • Training and upgrading of knowledge.  

Providing proper training and upgrading of knowledge of the staff at the operational levels is very necessary. It is generally observed that the staff doesn’t take the training seriously and consider deputation to training as a pleasure tour on paid holidays. This concept/notion is very dangerous. Providing training to staff is a very expensive exercise and in addition to heavy expenses, it takes a toll on the quality of services which get affected during the absence of the concerned staff from their active duties. We all know that it is only the men in the armed forces who take their training very seriously because they are aware of the fact that they would be the first to suffer the consequences of not taking the training seriously.

Both these aspects of heavy expenses and non serious attitude towards training can be taken care of by following the ‘DEEP SE DEEP’ model of providing training. There is no dearth of prime training institutions in the country and abroad. A few intelligent officers from the senior scales can be deputed for training to a particular institute for training in a particular field with a clear understanding and instructions that they will follow the schedule of training very seriously, have discussions with the experts who provide training in order to remove doubt if any and come well prepared to impart the same training to other fellows in the bank on their return. These officers so trained be required to impart training to other staff members in batches at the bank’s own offices/Premise/training centres in the evening for a few hours. The staff so trained will have to follow the same routine of providing training to other staff and so on. This model will save expenses, make the trainees accountable and experts, and create in-house expertise in many fields of activities. This will also create a lasting bonding amongst various cadres of staff as well as a sense of belonging for the institution. Bank’s training centres can be made self-sustaining and income generation  units by providing training to staff of other banks in specialised fields at a suitable cost/fees.

  • Customer meets with higher level executives.

A good leader is a good listener. People want to be listened to. They feel relieved and delighted once they are listened to. They feel that they are cared for and are important. Bank’s top brass should therefore not ignore this aspect of public feeling at any cost and shouldn’t feel shy of holding customer meets and face criticism if any with a good spirit. This creates long lasting bonds with clients as they feel that they are important. Any cutoff from the masses is suicidal for the banks. Banks, therefore, need to remain in touch with their customers, listen to them and implement the good suggestion forwarded by them.

BANK’S BUSINESS; Few Suggestions. Part….2

In part one of the blog suggestions regarding resource mobilization were discussed (BANK’S BUSINESS; Few Suggestions. PART….1). In this part, few suggestions are offered for an effective and healthy credit dispensation. A healthy credit dispensation requires:-

  1. Selection of a developing and long lasting sector/a viable economic activity for credit dispensation.
  2. Selection of the right prospective borrower/group of borrowers.
  3. Proper and scientific evaluation of the proposed activity/ proposal of the prospective borrower.
  4. Proper evaluation of the risk factors involved and mitigation of the same.
  5. Availability of adequate tangible and purposeful security as well as ensuring the availability of proper margin( Borrower’s part of the investment in the proposed project/activity).
  6.  A proper evaluation of the proposal at all levels and disbursement of the same by the dedicated, sincere, honest, and well trained and qualified staff.
  7. Need-based disbursement of the loan after proper execution of the required legal documents and after meeting all the terms and conditions prescribed in the sanction letter.
  8. A regular post disbursement followup to ensure that the funds disbursed are actually utilized for the purpose for which the same have been disbursed.
  9. Regular spot inspections of the unit in order to ensure that the same is running properly and the inventory level is not depleting.
  10. Timely renewal of the facilities allowed/DP note and periodical valuation of the property mortgaged to ensure that its distress sale value is sufficient to cover the amount outstanding at any given time.
  11. A regular follow up of the loan portfolio.
  12. Any concession in the rate of interest in any sector shouldn’t be upfront, rather it should be a backend offer on the timely repayment of the loans. This would encourage timely repayment of loans and prevent them from slipping to the NPA category.
  13. A timely action for regularization of any account showing signs of sickness is always a better option. (Bank’s NPAs. Causes and Remedies.
  14. Very effective and robust recovery management. (Management of NPAs -Some recovery techniques. )
  15. Settlement of NPA account by negotiation should never be less than the value of all the available securities including the personal as well as third-party guarantee available, and the same should cover the amount due in full with up to date interest including all legal or other costs. Concession if any should not be encouraged and be given only in very deserving cases on the merits of each case.

Although absolute freedom is not available for exercising  the choice for selection of a sector for credit dispensation in view of the social responsibilities on the shoulders of the banks, yet they should after meeting their responsibility of financing the social sector/priority and the neglected sector, make a firm choice for deployment of their funds in the sectors of their choice where they have trust, experience, and confidence. Niche banking is always preferable unless the staff is well trained to handle all other sectors. Many banks have suffered a lot by fishing in the troubled waters in absence of experience to swim across the tides.

Selection of the borrower should be independent. Undue laxity, influence, or any pressure is sure to bring bad results. There should be no compromise in the selection, appraisal, sanction, and disbursement of the loan. BANKERS MUST BEAR IN MIND THE FACT THAT ONCE THEY COMPROMISE IN THE SELECTION, APPRAISAL, SANCTION, AND DISBURSEMENT  OF ANY LOAN DUE TO ANY CONSIDERATIONS, BE IT POLITICAL PRESSURE OR OTHERWISE, THEY WOULD AT THE END HAVE TO COMPROMISE A LOT WHILE RECOVERING SUCH LOAN. There is no dearth of live examples of such cases, especially in the very recent past.

There should never be any haste in the sanctioning the loan and nor should there be any undue delay. Evaluation of a proposal has to take some justifiable time. After all, it pertains to the parting with the public money which the public has kept with us with extreme confidence and trust. Unless we maintain that trust, we can’t expect to attract good resources.

Every activity has an element of risk attached to it. This has to be honestly identified and properly provided for. Suitable legal and tangible securities which are properly identified are to be obtained in addition to getting the same along with all inventories properly insured against all risks. All risk mitigation factors as advised by the risk management departments of the respective banks be adequately taken care of. Banks these days are offering margin free loans i.e 100% financing and which is not a healthy proposition. The borrower must have some stake in the activity financed to him or otherwise, he would have no pains/interest in carrying out the activity judiciously as he has nothing to lose in case of a failure.

Four qualities/attributes of the staff; Honesty, Sincerity, Dedication, and a deep Sense of Belonging for the institution are the basic necessity for building a strong financial institution. Any lacking in these basic convictions in the staff is bound to dupe the banking sector. There is no dearth of allurements to staff and once they swallow the bait, the hook is sure to get entangled in the throat of the staff as well as the bank resulting into very heavy losses. Therefore staff in the bank and especially in the credit department should be honest, dedicated, sincere and well trained and their knowledge should be got periodically updated so as to keep them abreast with the day to day changes in their field of activity. There should never be square pegs in the round holes in the credit department because of the sensitivity of this very vital portfolio in the banking sector.

Once the loan is sanctioned, both the proposed borrower as well as the branch staff are relieved and excited. This is the time when most of the mistakes are made. Even a single penny shouldn’t be released unless all legal documents are properly executed, got vetted, and all terms and conditions of the sanction letter have properly been complied with.

The sanctioned amount is to be released in need-based installments and utilization of the disbursed amount must be ensured by conducting on-site physical verification as well as from the bills produced/GST paid vouchers etc. Every loan disbursed needs regular follow up till it is fully repaid with interest. You ignore this and you will lose sight of the same and land in trouble. Giving loan and its regular follow-up are similar to sowing a crop and taking care for its growth by regular visits to the field, ensuring proper watering, hoeing, proper manuring, de watering where required, spraying of pesticides/insecticides and timely harvesting. Unless this is not done, the crop is bound to fail. Same applies to the loans disbursed.

Handling the credit portfolio is a highly technical job so needs to be handled by well experienced staff with utmost care. The changing economic situation and its exposure beyond the national and international borders makes lending more vulnerable to various risks. An inept handling of this sector therefore is a risky proposition and therefore needs to be handled by men of integrity, experience, and knowledge of the concerned subject………..To be continue as part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANK’S BUSINESS; Few Suggestions. PART….1

Banks these days are under tremendous pressure for mobilizing resources as well as for credit dispensation in social as well as in other financial sectors. A very simple definition of banking is, ‘ TAKING MONEY, GIVING MONEY AND MAKING MONEY’. Banks don’t have their own funds. They take it from the public, lend again to the public, and in the process make money for themselves. They have to ensure that the procedure of running the bank is safe, secured, and a win-win situation for all the stakeholders. Seven things are very important for the banks to run their business in a secure, profitable, and growth-oriented manner;-

  1. A sound resource base.
  2. A proper credit dispensation under well-trained staff (Bank’s NPAs. Causes and Remedies). in a  secured, lucrative, and risk-free market.
  3. A robust follow-up and effective recovery. management system. Management of NPAs -Some recovery techniques.
  4. An intelligent inspection and supervision control DEFECTS IN BANK AUDITS AND INSPECTIONS system.
  5. Non banking/para-banking activities for creating different layers of income.
  6. A systematic system for training and skill development of staff.
  7. Regular contact with the client/public and listening/understanding and appreciating their point of view for a better brand building.

For creating resources Banks try to attract deposits from the public by tailoring different products suiting the capacity, requirement, and affordability of the public. Various products are made by the banks with an eye on a particular segment of society. Fixed deposits with different maturities for those who can afford to deposit fixed sums for a fixed period of time. Monthly deposits for those who can’t afford a fixed sum but can spare a comparatively lesser amount every month. Schemes for pensioners, senior citizens, Students, girl child, salaried class, industrial workers etc. etc. Current accounts for the business and trading community. Saving accounts for general savings etc. etc.

Although scores of schemes for resource mobilisation are launched by the controlling offices yet at the operating level only a few traditional schemes are given preference and the rest find a very little attention, with the result that many target groups remain untapped. Operational level, therefore, needs to focus on all the schemes and try to sell all the products available in their kitty. They should fix scheme/products wise targets of all the products launched by the bank. Staff members should be assigned individual targets of all such schemes and the controlling office should keep an eye on such programmes and encourage staff in meeting their targets

There are some very attractive schemes especially for salaried persons, professionals, self-employed, students, and even the business people who can accumulate wealth by taking benefit of monthly deposit schemes which unlike the saving bank account which has a very low rate of return. These schemes have yields available for the term/fixed deposit. Even the last few installments in such accounts attract the higher rate of interest equivalent to that of fixed deposits. For example, if a normal branch by its concerted efforts opens 1000 such accounts in a year with an average monthly deposit of Rs.5000 per month will mobilise 6 crores of rupees in one year. The figure will go up to 18 crores in 2nd year if another 1000 accounts are added in that year, If the same momentum of opening 1000 account with an average of Rupees 5000 per month is maintained for five years, the deposit growth would go to 36 crores in the third year, Rs.60 crores for the 4th and Rs 90 crores for the 5th year. A normal bank with say 1500 very effective branches will this way mobilize resources to the tune of Rs.135000 crores in just five years. Is not this growth pattern most attractive? and does this not deserve to be paid very focussed attention at all operating levels?.

For the promotion of all such schemes, all that is needed is awareness amongst the staff which further to be spread amongst the public by organizing awareness camps, special deposit mobilization fortnights with individual targets for all the staff members who have to work as a team. Rewards and appreciation letters can be offered to the staff for exceeding their targets as well as for topping in their district. or zone or in the bank as a whole.

Newspaper or other paid media advertisements are a costly affair and the public doesn’t pay much heed to such advertisements. It is advisable to distribute printed pamphlets to the public during awareness camps, through the services of newspaper vendors and also by talking to walk-in customers. A WORD OF MOUTH IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A WRITTEN PASSAGE.

One thing lacking in the modern time branches is proper visibility of the products in the shelf of the banks for its clients/public and the rates at which these are available. We presume that the client or the public knows everything but the fact remains that the sale persons at the counters themselves are not aware of the products available in their stores and their attractive features themselves. This needs serious remedial action by the main leadership of the banks………….(To be continued in part 2)

 

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GENERATION GAP

Generation gap is a variation or contrast in thinking, attitude, and behaviour of people of different generations. This is a natural phenomenon and is bound to happen because of the changes in the living environment with the development of resources and the availability of new fields of activities all around. This gap started happening from the date the evolution of man. With every passing day, a change in attitude, behaviour, and thinking kept going on slowly and with the passing of a generation it becomes more visible.

This gap is a sign of development if it is happening on the positive side, but in case it is the other way then it is dangerous not only for the concerned person or society but for the entire humanity as a whole. The new generations must inherit positive mental attitudes and values of life from their elders. All generations, therefore, need to be very particular about passing on the family traditions, culture, and values of life to the coming generations.

History plays an important role in understanding the difference between generations, their attitudes, behaviors, and traditions. A look at the history of nations shows that there has been a lot of development in every field be it health, education, food production, defense, infrastructure, science and technology and especially, the artificial intelligence. At present, although there is hardly a dearth of anything in this world yet we find some people suffering from malnutrition, deprivation of medical facilities, shelter, education, and justice which are the basic needs of life. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening day by day. This is not because of the dearth of anything but because of a lack of basic human characteristics such as compassion COMPASSION., contentment, humanity, and love. These human values of life have always existed in races/generations but the generations failed to protect and pass them on to the future generations; as a result all the negative tendencies such as greed, hatred, bias and intolerance took over and overshadowed the basic human values of life.

The development should have made our lives comfortable but the opposite has happened. We have become slaves of this development and have no time to enjoy its benefits. The wild race for more and more possessions has eaten the priceless possession of our contentment.

At a time when the world is fast changing, the rate of widening of the generation gap is also gaining speed. It needs to to be properly channelized because the negative trend already set in the values of life may attain greater proportions and which will be responsible for the degradation of human values resulting into a narrowing of the gap between the behaviors of humans and the animals. Is that our goal?.

The generation gap exists only in humans. Animals don’t have this gap. The reason is an abundance of intellect provided to humans by nature, which they can use for their good or bad. The choice depends on the atmosphere around us. The role of elders, therefore, is to provide a good and healthy atmosphere to their younger generations.

Parents/elders, teachers(Guru)/Religious leaders as well as social and political leaders have to become a role model for the youngsters and keep a vigilant eye on their wards, students/disciples and the subjects so that they may not get led astray. Regular contact is necessary with the children especially at the present times when there are a lot of avenues available to the children for slipping into the wrong zones. The misuse of artificial intelligence such as computers, laptops, mobile phones, and the internet has resulted in stress as well as distress which can lead to depressions and sometimes addiction to drugs for relief.

A positive gap is a welcome sign but a negative one which has already started taking roots is very dangerous for society as well as for humanity as a whole. The diminishing respect in the eyes of youngsters for elders, the allurement towards intoxicants and drugs is creating a great disturbance in the societies all over the world.

Such a generation gap needs to be filled with understanding, love, compassion and great devotion by the elders, teachers and the leaders, who have to become role models and create a self-example for the coming generations or otherwise we all shall be responsible for the great destruction of values of human life leading to degradation of life values and behavior of the future races to the lower species i.e animals.

The trend of behaving like lower species of life has already knocked at our doors and has rather entered our world. The widespread of drug addiction, intolerance among races and religions, increase in criminal activities, undue anger, hate, degradation of values in politics and religion are the signs of this trend.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Still, there are families, societies, and nations which have preserved their values of life, culture, and traditions and have passed on the same to their future generations. We need to learn from them and must follow them in the overall interests of our generations.

 

 

DEEPAWALI – THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS.

Deepawali, the festival of lights is celebrated on a moonless dark night in the month of October or November every year in the whole world and especially in the Indian subcontinent by the Hindus, Sikhs, and people from all other religions who contribute to the celebrations in one way or the other. The festival has become more of a good business proposition than purely a spiritual activity. It is related to the return of Lord Ram, Sita Ji, and Laxman back to their home in Ayodhya from an exile of fourteen years during which period Lord Ram passed through different phases of life and established a proper code of conduct for all of us by creating self-examples and discipline of life(BURNING THE EVIL: DUSSEHRA). He himself underwent various difficulties and faced the challenges of life with maturity and with utmost wisdom thus setting examples for us as to how to face various problems and aspects of life in a balanced manner.

We learn a lot from the examples set by Lord Rama about our obligations to the society, family members including father, mother, stepmother, brothers, wife, friends, teachers(Guru), friends, supporters, disciples, true followers, opponents, and the learned persons.

His priority towards Mata Shabri who was a very poor lady from a lower caste, over the most learned and famous Rishis including the great Matang Rishi who were proud of their knowledge and wisdom, is a true example of the love of a Master towards his disciple. Out of this love, he ignored the feast arranged by the Rishis and chose to eat the wild berries collected by Mata Shabri from the forest and each one of which she had tasted to check the sweetness.

After winning the war against Ravana who was hurt and was about to die in the battlefield; Lord Rama directed his brother Laxman who was an angry young man to go to Ravana and approach him respectfully for a piece of advice based on his knowledge and wisdom because Ravana was highly intellectual and a learned person.

By this act, Lord Ram taught us that we should not be biased even against our foes and appreciate their good qualities.

He made Laxman shun his anger, pride of winning the war and hatred if any towards the defeated enemy. He taught everyone to eliminate only the evil and appreciate the virtues even that of an enemy.

During those fourteen years of exile, he faced all the good and bad events of his life with courage, faith, complete humbleness and with a balanced and positive approach. After successful completion of his exile, he returned to Ayodhya where he was greeted with lights, dances, fireworks and that day of victory and Homecoming is still celebrated in the form of Deepawali.

No one likes to remain in the darkness. Everyone wants to be in the light. One philosopher describes darkness as the absence of light. There is never an absence of light in this world. Sun gives us light during the day and the moon appears before the sun disappears and so the stars. The light is always there as The God never blinks. The problem is with our own attitude. We turn our back to the light and focus only on the darkness so remain deprived of its shine.

How desperately we long for the light but search it outwardly whereas God has kept the same within all of us. Being extroverts we can’t get in touch with this divine lamp to which some call Akhand jyot, some call it Noor-e-Haq or Sham-e-Allahi or by various other names. This lamp is within everyone. All we need is to be introverts and focus our attention within ourselves instead of allowing it to scatter it outside. The longing for this light is not only the domain of any particular religion. Every religion has appreciated this and has always been in search of this Divine light. Our various festivals and traditions are connected with the appearance of the sources of light such as fire,  stars, the moon, and the sun.  This is actually the light within which Lord Ram was greeted on his homecoming. This is the same light which Hazrat Moosa encountered at Koh-e Toor. This is the same light which we symbolize on the Shab-e- Raat or on a Christmas tree during the Christmas celebrations. All we need is to have a true Guru, a perfect Master, a Kamil Murshid and learn from Him the technique of becoming an introvert and focus our attention inwards and follow a simple and chaste lifestyle in order to achieve salvation.

We the humans too have been exiled like Lord Ram for a fixed time period i:e our lifespan, for having disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. This period of exile is granted to us as a chance to purify our soul, pay for the mistakes and liberate ourselves from the shackles of wishes, anger, greed, attachment to worldly objects, and the ego/ pride. If we succeed, we will find our way back home and would be greeted with the lights which will remove all darkness from our life and liberate us from the unending cycle of birth and death thus leading us to attain Moksha, Mukti, or Najaat.

May this Diwali show us the way to the light within; the light that liberates; the light that removes all the darkness from our lives, thoughts, and the behaviors.

Wishing a very Happy Diwali to all the Readers….

BANKS AND THE POLLUTION

Pollution is a big monster which has engulfed the whole world especially the developing and the underdeveloped countries. The reason being that such countries need to develop factories, industry, infrastructure, mining, technology, defence, agriculture and education etc. Except for services and education, all other sectors of the economy create pollution in one way or the other. Factories, industries, and technology create smoke dust, dangerous gases, heat and noise which all add to the pollution level all around. Infrastructure creates noise, dust, and electronic pollution. Development in defence is the mother of all types of pollution in the air, on the ground and in the sea. On the micro level, all of us contribute to the addition in pollution in many ways.

Banks are the agents of development and no economy can survive or develop without a sound banking system. while they are contributing to the development of nations, they are by default contributing to the creation of pollution. Creation of pollution can’t be segregated for elimination from the development, however, it can be reduced by going green wherever possible. But we can’t have a green defense, ammunition, missiles, warplanes. Likewise, we can’t dream of green industrial wastage, green effluents, and green noise, smoke, and e- wastage. These need to be properly managed and treated before being disposed of.

Pollution as such is a compulsory evil which needs to be managed in a proper manner and kept at a tolerable level: a total elimination is impossible.

There are mainly two bodies which are entrusted with the job of managing pollution and cleanliness. Urban and rural local bodies such as municipal committees/corporations and the pollution control boards. However, the green tribunals are also doing a wonderful job by enforcing applicable laws for the safety of the environment and ecology. Municipal bodies lack planning, adequate funds, and trained manpower. The very urgent and necessary job of cleaning and garbage management is being done in a very casual manner. Municipal garbage from drains is removed and stocked in lanes, dumped on the roads in open where animals, birds, and flies feast to their will and is ultimately transported to dumping yards which are either within the dwelling areas or are very close to them. The small and the big drains remain choked thereby creating harmful gases and spreading of foul smell laced with dangerous bacteria. The effluent in the drains is allowed untreated into the rivers and canals with impunity. It appears as if all the concerned are in a deep slumber although they like other citizens are equally affected by the pollution so created.

The plight of the municipal field workers is pitiable. They are not properly trained to handle such a risky job which in addition to affecting their health has sometimes resulted in their deaths due to exposures to hazardous and toxic gases while cleaning the gutters. Their very tedious, dangerous, and risky job which ordinarily no one will like to do unless one has the compelling circumstances of poverty, is not properly appreciated and suitably compensated. The need of the hour is to provide adequate training to these menial laborers and their job to be properly compensated and appreciated. They need to be provided with all the necessary items required for their safety such as helmets, long gumboots, rubber gloves, and pollution masks. Unless they are not adequately trained, compensated, provided with necessary safety items, they can’t be held accountable for any lax in the performance of their duty. A very casual approach at the administrative level is bound to induce a work culture of casual nature.

The pollution control boards have the prime responsibility of controlling the pollution but the level of pollution all around speaks volumes about the failure of their efforts to control the same. The history is witness to the fact that whenever any control was exercised on any activity, it went out of control. We had exchange control, gold control, and also the birth control but all these controls failed to achieve the desired results and ultimately their nomenclature was changed. Exchange control was changed to Foreign exchange management act (FEMA). Gold control act too has been repealed and now it is from control to seamless trade. Birth control is now Family planning. Control seems to be a crude word. Pollution control boards are therefore desired to be renamed as pollution management boards which should be made accountable for the proper management of pollution.

The present position of these boards is not appreciable and seems to be lacking in action, performance, and governance. Factories and industries are existing in the middle of towns, cities, and the metros, making hell for the life of the residents. Diesel generator sets at almost all commercial complexes as well as at Pvt. residences are contributing a lot to the already existing pollution. Municipal waste is dumped in the lanes and on the roads. Even the greenest agriculture/horticulture sector is not behind in contributing their share of pollution by burning huge quantity of stubble in the fields and pruned branches and dry leaves of the trees. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers and spraying of poisonous pesticides is adding to the pollution in the air and on the earth thereby disturbing the balance of nature ( SAVE THE EARTH ). Toxic effluents from factories and households are allowed freely to flow to the so-called sacred rivers.

And above all, we the citizens do clean our houses but unmindfully throw the garbage on the lanes and roads sometimes just in front of our houses. We always expect others to respect the law and do things for us. Who will come to our rescue if we are bent upon digging our own graves and make this wonderful planet a hell for our coming generations? The coming generations will curse us if we all, responsible for this mess, didn’t mend our styles of working and ensure the health of the Earth and that of humanity as a whole.

Construction of unplanned or wrongly planned concrete jungles after destroying the natural green cover without caring a bit for the ecology and environment is being allowed which also is a major cause for the pollution. Who will stop this or mend the wrongs already done? Are the concerned authorities waiting for someone to come from the heavens to set things right for us? Nature has already started showing its anger(NATURE’s EQUILIBRIUM) and reaction in the form of storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. These early warnings are signs of the Doomsday. We all have to respect nature and try our best to save our beautiful planet.

Banks although not directly creating pollution, but are aiding the creation of the same in a big way. They can play a vital role directly and indirectly in managing pollution in a big way. There is hardly any activity which is not in one way or the other dependant on the banks. Banks should strictly ensure that the activity they are financing will not pollute the air, water or the land in any manner. They should ensure that the factories and the big complexes have proper sewage treatment plants (STP) in proper working order as well as arrangements for the proper treatment and disposal of the garbage, effluents, and the emissions. Installments of finance can be withheld until these facilities are not created. Banks should ensure that such add ups are in proper working order by physically inspecting them during their periodical inspection of the inventories and the plant, machinery, and other assets financed by them.

Banks do ensure that the unit proposed to be financed has adequate space/land available but have failed to ensure that the proposed loanee for a vehicle loan has adequate parking space at his place of residence or elsewhere excepting the lanes and the roads. The lanes and the roads appear as car bazars with hardly any space left for movement of vehicles or for the people to walk. Banks have a great role in the creation of congestion in the lanes and on the roads thus slowing down the movement of traffic and creation of a lot of pollution. One may have to visit the bank ten times to get a loan sanctioned for the purchase of a buffalo, but the car loan is sanctioned, disbursed, and even the car is got delivered within less than an hour. We see attractive advertisements of the banks in the newspapers about the facility of quick sanction and disbursement of the loan for the vehicle and other electronic items at much cheaper rates and at no margin or very nominal margin. Has anyone seen such an advertisement for a loan for the purchase of a cow, buffalo, or a horse which provide livelihood and create no pollution? Banks also need to promote with the similar zeal the sectors which are eco-friendly and provide more job opportunities to the people.

Banks need to promote those sectors which are going green by setting a self-example of going green themselves. To start with they can get all their main buildings run on green solar energy by harnessing the same on their rooftops and growing more green plants, grass, and flowers in the open spaces. This would set an example for others to follow. They should promote the use of green manure in agriculture and horticulture by helping the farmers to convert animals dung into vermicompost and the converting the other field wastage, leaves, pruned branches of trees into the green manure by the available techniques which are cheap and easy to use. This needs to be done in a mission mode as this can change the life of people in terms of quality as well as financially. They can do this as well as help farmers in the management of stubble by diverting their CSR funds for this noble cause. Banks are agents of development, let them now prove that they are agents of change also. With the type of dedication, commitment, and zeal with which the bankers have been working, it is expected that they can do this very effectively.

BURNING THE EVIL: DUSSEHRA

Dussehra is celebrated in the Indian subcontinent with much fanfare every year after the culmination of nine Navratras. Hindus observe fast during these nine Navratras and worship Goddess Durga in order to purify their souls and burn all evils on the tenth day i:e Dussehra by burning the effigy of Ten-headed  Ravana – The king of Lanka and who despite being so learned and having so much wisdom and intellect couldn’t control the evil in his mind. Overpowered by the evil thought he committed the heinous crime of kidnapping Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, knowing it well that Lord Rama was powerful enough to defeat him and rescue Sita. Despite all the wisdom and intellect at his command, he committed an immortal sin for which he was never forgiven and we still burn his effigy every year.

Burning of the effigy is symbolic. People nowadays do burn effigies of living leaders or people of high position as a protest against their actions which don’t suit them, but the burning of the effigy of Ravana signifies the victory of Good over the Evil. Does this actually burn the evil? Where is the evil, and Does it vanish by burning it every year? The evil tirelessly follows the good and it grows like the weed. Unless we de-weed it regularly every day rather every moment, it will overshadow the good crop. Symbolism will not do any good to us. We need to cleanse our mind and soul and condition them in such a way that they always remain positive.

Ramayana the Great epic teaches us the various aspects of perfect life and duties towards others. Lord Rama is also called Maryada Purshotam,  A person with Maryada i:e proper code of dignity and decorum. Lord Rama personally practiced perfect discipline in life and set examples for the conduct with parents, brothers, wife, society, followers, associates, master(Guru), and the enemies, without the slightest care for self-ego, pride, esteem, and hardships.

Dussehra signifies the constant fight with evil which grows faster than weed in our mind and we need to burn it rather uproot it moment by moment before it overshadows our intellect and makes us Ravana.

Ravana signifies Evil, Sita signifies a Pure soul and Lord Rama signifies The true spirit and a Perfect Master. India signifies the upper region i:e the abode of The Lord and Lanka signifies the earth. The pure soul descended to this world and got entrapped by the mind and its evil designs(Ravana). Having full faith in her Master, Sita remembers and prays her Lord for help; twho then invades Lanka and rescues the pure soul(Sita).

We the enslaved souls need to trust a Perfect Master/ Lord and pray before Him for help with full faith and trust. He will listen to our prayers if we are sincere and have complete trust in Him ; He will burn all evils from our mind and liberate us from this world of delusion. So, we need to understand the core of this symbolism and resort to its actual practice sincerely.