Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay 
"Money is not taught in schools. Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, but not on financial skills. This explains how smart bankers, doctors, and accountants who earned excellent grades in school may still struggle financially all of their lives. Our staggering national debt is due in large part to highly educated politicians and government officials making financial decisions with little or no training on the subject of money."
 - Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad 

Are you from one of those families where you were always taught to be satisfied in what you have? Of course, we all Indians are; and that's a  very great lesson to be learnt. But, have you also been taught that money doesn't matter in life? Perhaps most of us will answer yes.

If this is what deeply engraved in our minds, why are we so surprised that our country is still developing? That the financial capital of India shines with the shadow of poverty of slums? Truly, the way we have been consoling our minds deserves to be lauded.

A child goes to school & learns the usual subjects taught. He learns them diligently, and then he graduates & then steps out in the world looking for a job. He does manage to get a job, assuming that he was taught or he has himself learnt the required skills. But when he starts earning, he just can't realize how nothing is left in his hands. Be him a doctor or a lawyer or any of the lucrative careers our parents & teachers & us are so crazy about, we all, at some point of time, find ourselves knee-deep in thick muddled water of financial troubles.

So, we had quite a success in increasing our literacy rate which deserves an applause. But have we been able to keep up with this fast pace of change in this ever-changing world; which is now banging our doors with a demand to make our students financially literate as well? 

So, for those yet a little confused about this term, Financial literacy is the ability to effectively manage a variety of financial skills, such as personal finance management, budgeting, and investing. Needless to say, financial literacy is one of the biggest assets of any country as it is directly proportional to the economic growth. Let's not remain in dark any further & have a quick glance at what our ever-truthful & infamous statistics have to say in this regard; because numbers never lie, do they? 

   Despite having a "boastful" population of 1.3 billion people, only 24% of it is financially literate. About 76% of the adult population are yet to improve upon their understanding about basic financial concepts. Only 27% Adults, 16.7% of Indian Teenagers Financially Literate.

      So, how does that sound? Well, let's not get disappointed by these numbers & look out for ways instead. The President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Ashish Garg quoted, "Despite having the world's 10th largest and Asia's oldest stock exchange, low per capita income, educational inequality, non-banking habits, informal borrowing and lending practices that have been going on for years. Thus, it is imperative for the country to now understand how to optimize its resources and boost the economic and financial backbone of the nation." 

     Besides, reaching out to rural sections and working on their development can be achieved through financial literacy. This can be achieved by making people more aware about the available resources and right way of utilizing them. Based on an RBI study, 42.9% of population borrowed money from informal sources and pay higher interests. A strong financial education can help small traders make informed decisions and make the best use of available resources.

     The launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has led to an addition of 280 million new bank accounts. These accounts have led to an ease in doing business and has also promoted cashless transactions to a great extent. MSMEs contribute to 29% of India’s GDP with 50% of the exports coming from this sector. Financial literacy can help small businesses grow and even bring new businesses to the market.

   Okay, so let's look at the brighter side of our numbers. India has the potential to be among the top financial literate country in the world as 27.6% of its people between the age group 25-44 continue participating in the financial inclusion program through financial education. This rate could expand by more than 20% in the next two decades, if the youngsters within the age group 10-19 are also provided proper financial education. This group constitute about 21.8% of India’s population. 

    Financial abilities could lead to general economic growth and increase the standard of living. India’s work force combined with strong financial education can take the country to great levels. A financially savvy India would be a big global influence. 

     But charity always begins at home, and so do all kinds of problems our country faces at home. So lets get down at the roots of where this grows from. Our age old mindset that prevails- Money is the root of all evil

    Are we sure we are right here? After all, it is with our desires as it is with money. They are bad Masters and good servants in today's world. Arranging for the basis necessities like bread, clothes and a small house call for a fortune. So why should money lead to Evil? Money cannot be described as Evil. After all the salary that a hardworking man takes home is but compensate for a month of dedicated work.  A son buying medicines for his mother, a mother buying books for her daughter and entrepreneur building his dreams; a priest trying to set up an orphanage all need money. In the cases mentioned here, money is nothing less than sacred. It is a medium through which people with good intentions aim at creating a better world. So how on earth is money evil, unless its in evil hands? 

   So if you are a good person, it's your moral obligation to achieve wealth. Don't get me wrong! Being wealthy & being rich are two different things. With wealth comes freedom; freedom to live your life The way you want & the freedom to serve the world.

     There are rules of money that the rich play by, and there are the rules that the other 95 percent of the population plays by, and the 95 percent learns those rules at home and in school. That is why it's risky today to simply say to a child, 'Study hard and look for a job.' A child today needs a more sophisticated education, and the current system is not delivering the goods, says Robert Kiyosaki, who strongly believes that a child should be taught financial skills. Of course, in a holistic & practical way that doesn't adds up to their syllabus burden? 

    Money is one form of power. But what is more powerful is financial education. Money comes and goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can begin building wealth. The reason positive thinking alone does not work is because most people went to school and never learned how money works, so they spend their lives working for money.

      Are we on this retrograde path where our people will continue to make the same mistakes for generations ahead? 

      How long are we going to live in this darkness of ignorance that consumes everyone of us? It's high time that we break this age old mindset which doesn't let us discuss financial stability & abundance on our dinner table. Let's make it a hardcore rule to include financial skills in our education.