Brokerage firm India Infoline (IIFL) on Friday said it has launched a financial education and awareness initiative called FLAME (Financial Literacy Agenda for Mass Empowerment), with an aim to improve financial literacy across over 1,000 cities in India.

The company has a budget of Rs 25 crore for its initiative towards the corporate social responsibility, IIFL said in a statement.

“We shall leverage our network of 3,000 locations, 15,000 employees and 1 million customers across the country to reach out to small towns as well as under-privileged sections of the society. We have set aside a budget of Rs 25 crore, in addition to efforts of a crack team of 500 from the company,” IIFL Chairman Mr Nirmal Jain said.

The company’s programme will comprise a mass media campaign, an online portal, a helpline, ground level financial awareness workshops, connecting with students at B-schools, books and training via expert sessions on financial literacy, the statement added.

FLAME was launched by Reserve Bank of India’s Deputy Governor Mr K C Chakrabarty and HDFC Chairman Mr Deepak Parekh.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr Parekh said “India cannot grow at a sustained high pace without greater financial inclusion and hence a significant investment in financial literacy is no longer a policy option, but a compulsion.”

As a part of this new initiative, IIFL will setup a helpline to answer queries pertaining to financial services, which will be manned by the company’s trained professionals, the statement said.

(This article was published on February 18, 2011)
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