[AI] banking facilities to the visually challenged

Rajesh Asudani rajeshasudani at rbi.org.in
Thu Jun 5 03:34:23 EDT 2008

Surely, the development is positive and we must congratulate ourselves for it.

However, I do not see any reason for jubilance for a multiplicity of reasons:

firstly, it has taken long long time to come, 45 days mentioned in CCPD judgment have long since been over!

Secondly, it is merely a brief circular stating perfunctorily what is contained in several petitions without delving into the spirit of matter.

Thirdly, seeing the scant respect for laws and bye laws in our country, I can only hope to cite it as a source of my demands being supported on paper by the regulator! and derive moral comfort from it!!!

Fourthly and importantly, it merely contains the general statement of providing all the banking facility and eschews any detailed guidelines for various facilities, refering to IBA guidelines in pursuance of CCPD judgment which are, to say the least, archaic in nature.

Fifthly, it has the potential to create contradictions between what it purpotedly gives and mode of realization for which it refers to earlier guidelines, adding to already prevalent confusion. For instance, it says that banks have to provide cheque books including third party cheques, which is explicitly [or at least interpretatively] denied in ccpd judgment.

The true remedy lies inenumerating detailed guidelines for availing facilities, and we must keep on pressing for it. RBI/IBA has to issue fresh guidelines in light of present circular. The battle is far from won.

Yes, the circular must be praised for recognizing legal equality of visually impaired persons, but, alas, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip!!!!!!!!!!

The era of individual banks following their sweet will in denying/allowing their facilities to VI, has to be ended, and the present circular is a small step towards it, which has to be followed to its logical conclusion. I remember chairman of LIC having proclaimed a few days ago, that the primier insurance agency does not at all discriminate in giving insurance to disabled including blind!!!!!!!! May This circular  not proove to be one more such tentalising illusion!

We must work to have it implemented and letter and spirit for which universal and fresh guidelines are the need of the hour!!!

Forgive my cautious optimism which is often dubbed as morbid pessimism!!!!


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