Greetings! This month has been unique and special for us. For the first time in our history, an anonymous donor made the most generous offer of matching all donations made in the month of December. No matter how big, or small, the donation, our kind benefactor pledged to donate Rs2,000 per donation with a total limit of Rs2,00,000.
Your phenomenal response to this offer has been a humbling experience for us all. Ever since this announcement, we have been receiving donations on a regular basis and have exceeded the target by far.
Thanks to your donations and to our anonymous benefactor, Moneylife Foundation will be better equipped to remain fiercely independent and to fight for your rights and carve a path towards a better, fair and consumer-friendly future.
Our weekly guidance sessions are back in their usually scheduled time slots and we are delighted to start the year. Furthermore, starting fresh in the New Year, we have already lined up a few seminars and workshops that will be of interest to several of you.
We complete 9 years in February and as always, our anniversary celebration will be marked by a special talk. This year, we are delighted to have Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Urban Development as our Chief Guest. Mr Puri's portfolio of responsibilities is of great interest to Moneylifers and covers urban development, smart citizen, the metro rail, Realty and RERA among others. So do register early and block your date – this is a programme you don't want to miss!
We were fortunate to have Mr DG Kale, former Chief General Manager at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), devote some time every week to guide many of you on issues related to banking services. Over the next couple of months, we will have short talks by Mr Kale on making the best use of digital payments and using the benefits they offer to maximize savings. The first two sessions have already been announced. Do register at the earliest.
Post session, Mr Kale will still be available to answer any queries and provide guidance on banking or credit related issues.
We conducted 6 RTI sessions in December; some for college students and some for Public Information Officers (PIOs) and officers for Civil Defence & Home Guards. Mr Shailesh Gandhi (former Central Information Commissioner) has been a key part of these workshops; sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience on the basics of the RTI act as well as its importance in promoting transparency.
We also had a very engaging conselling session by well known RTI activist, Anil Galgali.
If you are a group of concerned citizens, social group (like Rotary, Lions etc) or a college, company/ institution who wants to empower people through RTI, please do reach out to us. We are happy to conduct a free session at a mutually convenient time at your venue – however we require a minimum of 75 attendees and a serious time commitment of two hours. We can also conduct exclusive sessions for 40 to 50 persons at Moneylife Foundation's Knowledge Centre. Write to us at [email protected] for details.
If you reside in Mumbai, you can also benefit from our Free Daily Clinic guidance sessions to resolve your issues relating to Housing, Cooperative Housing Societies, Lok Adalats, RERA, Right to Information (RTI), banking and consumer complaints and many other issues that affect your daily life.
You will find a list of activities and programmes conducted in December below. Also, feel free to write to us if you have suggestions for other future workshops or want a repeat of any of those conducted earlier – if there is a lot of interest, we will surely arrange another session. Watch out for announcements in January by becoming a member and getting on to our mailing list.
19th January: "How to Travel on a Budget" DG Kale, CGM RBI
Retired CGM customer services in RBI, DG Kale will be giving a short talk sharing his tips on how to effectively travel on a budget. The talk will be followed by a guidance session where Mr Kale would be available to provide assistance on banking or credit related queries.
Venue: Moneylife Foundation's Knowledge Centre
2nd February: "How to Optimise your Borrowing?" DG Kale, CGM RBI
Mr Kale will give a short talk on how we can optimise our borrowing regardless of whether one is financially strong or wants to reduce his/her borrowing load.
10th December: "The RTI Act & in its Importance in Empowering Citizens" - Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College, Pune
In collaboration with Deccan Education Society, we conducted a half day workshop on RTI at Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College in Pune. Former CIC Shailesh Gandhi, Dr Anupam Saraph and Vinita Deshmukh were present as speakers for the session. This workshop was conducted on World Human Rights Day for law students and faculty at the college.
18th December: "RTI Session for PIOs & Officers of Civil Defence & Home Guards of Mumbai District" - Shailesh Gandhi
Shailesh Gandhi led a session for PIOs and officers of Civil Defence & Home Guards of the Mumbai District, covering the important points of the RTI Act and its implementation. The session was conducted by Shailesh Gandhi and attended by officers from Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhdurg regions.
21st December: "RTI Session for PIOs & Officers of Civil Defence & Home Guards of Pune District" - Shailesh Gandhi
In continuation of our collaboration with Civil Defence and Home Guards Dept., we conducted another RTI session for PIOs and officers in the Pune District. This second workshop was conducted at Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI), Pune and was attended by officers from Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solhapur.
24th December: "RTI Session for Students of SNDT College" - Shailesh Gandhi
Shailesh Gandhi conducted a RTI workshop for students of SNDT College and covered the basics of the RTI Act. He also talked about the process of filing RTI applications and elaborated on the importance of the Act in pushing for transparency in governance.
28th December: "RTI Session for PIOs & Officers of Civil Defence & Home Guards of Nashik District" - Shailesh Gandhi
Continuing with our collaboration with Civil Defence and Home Guards, we conducted a third workshop for officers in Nashik District. This session was once again led by Shailesh Gandhi and was attended by PIOs and officers from Nadurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar.
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Remember, you can benefit from our work from all over the globe through our videos and helplines (Credit Helpline and Legal Resource Centre). They are all offered free of charge, but please do reciprocate by introducing our work to at least 10 people and getting them to become members.
Thank you for your support and look forward to your good wishes always.
Founder-Trustee, Moneylife Foundation
Trustees: TS Krishnamurthy, Dr KC Chakrabarty, Walter Vieira, Sucheta Dalal, Debashis Basu and Dr Anupam Saraph. Special Invitee: Adv Jamshed Mistry
Moneylife Foundation is registered with the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai, is an Affiliate member of OECD's International Network on Financial Education, is a Supporter Member of Consumers International, Development Partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), and is a winner of the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award.
Donations are eligible for tax benefits under Sec 80G of the Income Tax 1961 (50% tax exemption) and MLF is registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.