The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, under its Digital India programme, announced Karang as the first cashless island in India last Friday. Confirming it, M Harekrishna, Deputy Commissioner of Bishnupur district said the island fulfilled the Centre’s necessary criteria.
Karang Island is located in the middle of Loktak, and is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. The campaign was held from January 9 to 12. Karang Island Boat Association and Panthoibi Khoyol Standard Association extended help in holding campaigns on cashless transactions. District manager, Prasant Oinam, of common service centre in Bishnupur who initiated the programme said that the people took a pledge to contribute to the government’s vision of creating a cashless gram panchayat as no banking service is available on the island.
Prasant added that most of the Karang families opt for cashless transactions. So far, 400 beneficiaries, 16 merchants, including six motor boat service providers, have registered themselves. The administration will be providing a card swipe machine within this month so that the island families can become 100% cashless.
Akodara, a village in Gujarat, had attained the unique status to be India’s first digital village in 2015.