Thousands of people on Tuesday joined the unique #TweetMorcha against arbitrary bank charges with the hashtag #BankSeBachao trending at top spot in India and also featuring in worldwide trends in the afternoon. People from across the globe sent tweets to @NarendraModi and @ArunJaitley with the hashtags of #BankSeBachao and #TweetMorcha.
Moneylife Foundation, along with Sanjay Nirupam, chief of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee and India’s leading bank union leaders, consumer organisations and activists had called a #TweetMorcha, a unique new form of registering an online protest to take up the issue of high bank charges. The aim of this Tweet Morcha was give voice to the anger of all those who are being forced to pay unfair bank charges and unjust fees and make it heard by the Prime Minister. All the tweets were tagged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s twitter handle @narendramodi.
The objective of this protest was to unite the voice of the agitated and vulnerable bank customers who are being subjected to unfair practices by big banks since the charges that banks are levying on their customers amount to being illegal. The protest was kicked off at a live event in Mumbai with Mr Nirupam, Sucheta Dalal, Trustee of Moneylife Foundation along with members of civil society, NGOs, bank union members, bankers, activists and others. They tweeted to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister and Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister demanding action be taken against the banks with the hashtags #TweetMorcha and #BankSeBachao and in a matter of minutes the hashtags began to trend.
Mr Nirupam says, "The Prime Minister is more active on Twitter. Hence, we have chosen this platform to address this serious issue. We want him to hear the plea of the common man who suffers on a daily basis due to the unjust practices of the banks. Today hundreds of victims of bank atrocities gathered and tweeted about this issue voicing their opinions and rage addressing it to the Prime Minister. We hope that this plea doesn't go unanswered and an appropriate action is taken against the banks".
"Earlier, we approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance Minister seeking help. However, our plea went unheard. But there is nothing like the unity of common people. Hence, people came together and tweeted to the Prime Minister expressing their views and disappointment over increasing bank charges. This protest not only aimed at bringing the prejudices of bank down but also to show them the strength of unity of the common people in this country", says Ms Dalal.
Along with the people who gathered at the venue, hundreds of other angry customers joined in the Morcha from various parts of the world voicing and registering their protest.
As part of its advocacy efforts, Moneylife Foundation has led the effort to fight for customer rights. Despite our efforts, we have seen very little evidence on the ground of concrete action by the regulator.
Moneylife Foundation has been at the forefront of speaking up for bank customers. An online petition launched by us has garnered more than 2.13 lakh signatures. (Sign the Petition
). The group, including well known NGOs, trade unions, finance editors and experts, had on 12 May 2017 presented a 1,100 page printout of over 100,000 signatures to an online petition at Change.org to M Veerappa Moily, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance