Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has earned the coveted tag of becoming India’s first digital village.
The village with a total population of 1,191 people and 250 households uses a various cashless system for payments of goods and services. All transactions in the village are carried out through digital modes like SMS, net-banking or debit cards.
- The village was adopted by ICICI Bank under its Digital Village Project in 2015 and made cashless by adopting digital technology.
- The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence.
- All households in village have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch. The bank has provided training to villagers to embrace digital technology to reduce dependence on cash.
- The village has almost 100% financial rate and all mobile banking is done in Hindi, English and Gujarati languages. It also has its own official website.
- The villagers’ most important transactions selling agri-produce at the local market or mandi or selling milk at the co-operative society have been made cashless.
- It has primary, secondary and higher secondary schools equipped with smart boards, computers and tablets.
- It can be said that this village has become prime example of how e-banking can be practically implemented in Indian villages without much difficulty to make India cashless economy.