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Hawa Mahal Talks: Sonal Pareek & Rekha Sharma

  • IWB Post
  •  December 31, 2014


Taking forward our Hawa Mahal dialogue series, this is the 4th and the final conversation happening between two Jaipur women sitting by a ‘jharoka’ (window) of Hawa Mahal. This place was known to keep the royal women safe, behind the walls, since the ‘Purdah’ system was adamant that time. 


Today, the time has changed, and women are more outspoken. They know their rights and understand the meaning of freedom. Our Jaipur women are just among them, seeking their free-spirits in this lost world. Today we will share with you the conversation between two women from the Pink city who sat by the side of one such jharokha and discussed about woman’s financial independence.


Meet Sonal Pareek, a housewife, in conversation with Rekha Sharma, ex-Banker with an experience of 6 yrs.



Sonal – I am a housewife with 3 kids. The problem with me is – I am served everything on the platter. This means I am never supposed to stand in long queues of a bank or get out of the car to access ATMs. But now I feel I should be acquainted with these basic things.



Rekha – No matter what kind of life woman lives, she must have adequate knowledge of important things like finances and banking. We must not forget the other side of life.

Sonal – True. That’s why my 1st question is about online banking. It’s a pro-thing these days, but I am afraid if it is tough to handle.


Rekha – Not at all. All you need is an ID and its password to keep your details safe. Sonal, you are an educated woman who understands English, I have seen rural women having access to online banking who cannot even understand this language.

Sonal – I think it’s a deadlock in our minds.


Rekha – Definitely. Since you have a Facebook account, online banking will be equally easy.

Sonal – What if we have queries related to banking, how can we go about them? Provided, some of us cannot even access internet.


Rekha – They can go to banks and ask the consultant. Don’t think that your query is too small to take to a bank. I have had clients who would ask me how to fill up a form or open an account. So, it’s perfectly human.

Sonal – Hmm. However, I want to know if we have any womenfriendly banks?


Rekha – I find private banks the fastest and user-friendly because they are supposed to make sound customer-relationships. The transaction process, online banking and consultations in private banks have evolved with time. To name a few, I would say ICICI, HDFC, YES bank, etc.


Sonal – How can a woman take her 1st few steps towards her financial independence. And especially the home-makers who are good at saving from rations and vegetable bills.


Rekha – Women have an in-built skill. We know about the best market offers on kitchen items and we are good at saving some amount from the budget given by husband. Women can start with opening her savings account, because here she will get interest on her saved money!

Sonal – We can also deposit the kitty money in it yearly, so that interest can be generated.

Rekha – Absolutely!


Sonal – I have another tedious question that I am sure many women can relate to. Being a housewife, if ever I want to start my own business without any financial support from family, how can I get the loan from banks?

Rekha – It’s easy. The loan wouldn’t depend on your husband’s income, rather you can show the property in your name or valuables like jewelry. I think jewelry is something every woman can easily manage to get a loan on.


Sonal – Women generally think banking is just for men. I mean, I was among them till sometime back. Now I have made up my mind to be smart in banking and managing funds.

Rekha – Women are excellent with funds, all they need is smart way to manage it. And banking helps them with it.

Sonal – Right, but then the family is like ‘hum kar dete hain, aap kyu pareshan hote ho?’ (We will do it, you don’t have to bother)


Rekha – In such case, make use of your smart phones. Just download the application and learn the basics on your own. No rocket science, I say.


Sonal – Wow, talking to you has made me a step closer to my small resolve.

Rekha – Not small though. It is clearly leading a woman towards her empowerment.

Sonal – Thank you.


Sonal has come over her fear of banking. Do you have any doubt that you think is too small to be asked in the bank? Ask us, we make sure you get the answer!

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