Moneylife Foundation announces tie-up with ICICI’s DISHA

Under the tie-up, DISHA will provide its services—free of charge—at the office of the Moneylife Foundation six days a week

4 May 2010: Moneylife Foundation today proudly announced its tie-up with DISHA Financial Counselling, a free and confidential service promoted by ICICI Bank. Speaking on the occasion of the Moneylife Foundation workshop on ‘How to be safe and smart with your money’, M N Gopinath, who is on the governing council of DISHA said, “In the last few years, counselling and awareness has gained a lot of currency. This is because, prosperity has brought with it a whole set of problems like a general lack of financial responsibility. As a result, people get caught in huge debt traps. There is a need to prevent this malaise rather than only providing a cure.”

Mr Gopinath congratulated the Moneylife Foundation for its initiative, recognising that there is a bigger need to educate the society at large. “Having spent so many years in this field, I now realise one thing. We have to take care of ourselves. We need to know what benefits us and what doesn’t and how we can better protect ourselves. We need to understand how to plan our finances and how to avoid falling prey to high sales pitches.”

Mr Gopinath has vast experience spanning more than 35 years in the field of finance and banking, having served at key positions in ICICI Bank and Bank of India. He currently occupies the position of director in Bank of India, chairman of Loyalty Solutions & Research Ltd (an ICICI Venture company) and serves as an advisor at the Institute of Finance, Banking and Insurance.

DISHA and Moneylife Foundation will conduct workshops, supported by ICICI Bank, on financial literacy and awareness every Tuesday between 3-6pm at the Moneylife Knowledge Centre. DISHA, one of the pioneering initiatives in this area, seeks to provide solutions to consumer grievances. Under the tie-up, DISHA will be extending its services, free of charge, at the office of the Moneylife Foundation six days a week.

Speaking about the tie-up, Ms Anita Pai, head of customer services group at ICICI Bank said “DISHA is ICICI Bank’s contribution to counselling customers. But we can only scale this up with partners who have similar objectives. Moneylife Foundation provides the perfect avenue to help us reach a lot more people. We are very happy to be in this partnership with Moneylife Foundation and look forward to making a difference.”

DISHA endeavours to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in a financial crisis by analyzing their situation, counselling and advising, and providing options. DISHA is committed to providing education to customers on the proper use of consumer credit as well as basic money management skills helping them stay financially healthy.

Mr Gopinath’s talk was followed by an interactive working session on finance, by Mr Debashis Basu, Editor of Moneylife and Ms Sucheta Dalal, consulting editor of Moneylife. Ms Dalal spoke on how to avoid losses by staying away from certain kinds of investments like chain marketing and pyramid schemes. She also spoke about the implications of credit card transactions and gave the audience some tips on choosing banking and insurance services sensibly.

Mr Basu told the audience that investment does not have to be difficult and complicated if one was clear about the basic objectives, avoided obvious potholes and followed a sensible and consistent investment policy. He also explained at length the enormous power of compounding one's income.

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