In its bid to promote and popularise its products and services in interior rural areas across the country, the Department of Posts – better known as India Post – launched its ambitious ‘Five-Star Villages’ scheme today.
Known as the world’s widest postal distribution system, the 166-year-old service launched during the British Raj, continued to be the lifeline of communication across India till the end of the last century. It still continues to be the most trusted service of its kind for the people.
“The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages. All postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at village level under the Five- Star Villages scheme.
Branch offices will function as one-stop shop to cater all post office related needs of villagers”, the Ministry of Communication, under which the Department of Posts functions, stated.
The schemes covered under the scheme include Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, National Savings Scheme and Kisan Vikash Patra certificates, Sukanya Samridhi Accounts, PPF Accounts and Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts.
Further, it includes Postal Life Insurance Policy, Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
“If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status. Similarly, the village that completes three schemes, will receive three-star status and so on”, the scheme explained.
The scheme is being launched on pilot project basis in Maharashtra. Based on the experience, it will be implemented nation-wide, the officials said.
The entire state of Maharashtra will be covered under the scheme. A total number of 50 villages in each district will be covered during the current financial year.
The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts. the team of Gramin Dak Sevaks will conduct door-to-door awareness campaign on all schemes, covering all eligible villagers, as per the design developed by the Department.