It was Sunday morning on 16th June 2019. When we reached Higher Ground Community Development office in Lalitpur at around 10 AM, the hall was already filled with a group of around 20 girls and women aged 17-60 years. They were eagerly waiting for the Smart Chhori workshop to begin. At around 10:30, Ms. Bimala Shrestha Pokharel, the founder of Higher Ground Nepal began the workshop with a welcome speech.
Mr. Aaditya Thapa, Business Development Manager of Khalti started the formal session. He gave a brief introduction of Khalti Digital Wallet, followed by its mission, vision, and goal to make every payment in Nepal possible through mobile phone and make the nation cashless. He also talked about some important digital payment services provided by Khalti.
After the introduction session was over, Ms. Smriti Pradhan, Events Coordinator at Khalti started with the basic information like how to be careful in various social media, the importance of online security in today’s digital age, and lastly what smart chhori is all about.
The information session seemed quite enlightening to the girls and women. They were very ecstatic that they learned something new in the session. We engaged them in various tasks like making them download Khalti app, and create a Khalti account. We also conducted a demo session on how to send/request fund in Khalti. We demonstrated by choosing one of the participants Olin Rai and sent Rs.50 to her Khalti wallet, then after she did the same to another participant.
There were lots of questions from the participants like: if having a bank account is a must to load fund in Khalti, if they can pay electricity bill of Kathmandu only or outside valley too. We cleared their confusion and shared information about various ways through which they can load fund in Khalti. We also informed them and taught how to pay electricity bill of their village home directly through Khalti app, without any inconvenience.
After the Khalti and digital payments session, it was time for the emphasizing of Smart Chhori.
First, we encouraged all of the participants to join our Smart Chhori group on Facebook. After they joined the Smart Chhori Facebook group, we shared brief information about Smart Chhori campaign and its mission to empower girls and women through financial and digital literacy and skills. We shared them how paying electricity bill online can make their lives easier, by avoiding to travel to the electricity bill payment counter and staying in a long queue. We also showed an online tutorial of Smart Chhori and encouraged them to take part in the quiz to win Khalti balance and certificates.
Later on, we also conducted a small fun-filled activity where they were supposed to share selfies with a caption “I am a smart chhori because…..” and post it in the smart chhori group. To make this contest more interesting, we also announced a winner who posted their selfie first.
Lastly, we had a brief Q & A session where the participating girls and women asked about the topics they were confused.
The session ended with vote of thanks from Uma Magar, National Coordinator of Higher Ground Nepal. She concluded the workshop by briefing about Higher Ground Nepal and her experiences on how girls and women have been misled in social media due to lack of proper knowledge.
– By Smriti Pradhan
Coordinator, Khalti Smart Chhori Program