BANKS-THANKS

BANKS-THANKS                                           02 29 2012

By EWALT AINSWORTH

Whether you live here or you live there, there should not be a deficiency of money but because we have been experiencing a need for things material, we think emotionally and are exploited financially at the end of the day.   There is a felt need to bring back banks to rural communities and have bank mobiles servicing interior locations and farm markets…thanks.  Too many of the farmers and pensioners are held up, shook up and robbed up and losing faith in the system.

Extension-banks go a long way in bringing about increased production and productivity and give micro credit to their customers.  Over time, these folks remain in their comfort zones and do not have to feel less than who or what they really are in the big cities.  Banking must be a community activity and that way localized exposure and excursions will serve as an elixir to growth and development. The absence of these banks is promoting the regions as slaughter houses and people should be able to resign to their domains without fear of being joked, robbed and upset.   More banks…thanks. 

The bigger animal gobbles up the smaller animal and we in turn gobble up that bigger animal and then we get angry when we do not get enough.  At that stage we cheat and rob, drink and do drugs and lose our sense of purpose and our moral selves as we slip into further deficits and debts.

As a community when we want change we have to put aside the theories and ideologies and get serious about cultivating an attitude of gratitude.  We enjoy being slaves and attach ourselves in the wrong way to those who have power and wield power.  The second in charge is often more dangerous than the person in charge and this plays out in all the offices and organizations in Guyana.

The politicians, especially, have painted a picture of black folks at the bottom of the barrel and have been promoting the other minorities as superior and from a better cut of cloth when in fact they are similar because they think they are dissimilar.  Every day is a gunshot.  A student’s companion is no longer a Royal Reader or a First Aid lexicon.  The PPP has been de-emphasizing education and restricting artists, artisans and cultural icons.  The PPP wants to suggest that these are random acts of violence but a post mortem of crimes reveals that the perpetrators were in receipt of an incentive by a politically affiliated practitioner.

In other words a gold jeweler gets killed in Campbelville after a brazen multi-million dollar hold up.  That gold is sold to another goldsmith in Eccles for a small percentage.  Within two days the person who committed the crime returns to the person that bought the loot for another freck.  He is denied and an altercation ensues and his house is burned to the ground…something like that.

There was a time when the Post Offices in all of rural Guyana facilitated penny savings books.  Schools from the fourth form level and upwards used to encourage weekly savings.  On jobs and in communities, people used to subscribe to credit unions and funeral societies.  In addition, mutual friends used to throw ‘su-su’ or partners or Box.  None of these things happen anymore at any level of society; neither here or there.

There used to be other ancillary banks and a bank mobile going to Charity and Parika and Port Mourant and Mibicuri on market days.  Burma too used to have a weekly visit.  Country folks used to get a chance to save their own money for a rainy day.  They also had cattle and farms and money used to come easy.  This money was always re-invested to buy homes and pursue academia.  In West Coast Berbice almost everybody had a tractor or a combine or something to assist their farmsteads.  Country people now flock to the cities and every Friday night they drink themselves to a stupor.

There was a time too when the bank mobile used to be a symbol of trust and mutuality between government and people.  Not anymore.  On other days, Guyana Airways used to facilitate a visiting banker to Mahdia, Lethem and Port Kaituma once or twice a month.  Not anymore and the people have been made vulnerable.

One of the side effects of not having extension-banking is that the business men and gold miners and farmers have to travel to Georgetown and there are folks who hang out at banks and use their cell phones to inform snipers and robbers about the traffic.  Sometimes too, the tellers work in concert with organized crime and pounce on senior citizens especially when they get their little money and pensions.  The end result people are forced to hide money under the sijan or breadfruit tree.  That is terrible?

Today all the banks have folded tents and what remains is money laundering outfits that cherry pick customers and when they do, charge in excess of 20 per cent on loans.

The ATM machines give a percentage of your withdrawal.  In other words you can get up to 30 towels from each transaction but for some strange reason, the machine only spits out 15 or 20 tops.  The Customer Service does not acknowledge these deficiencies.  To make matters worse, the guard assigned to monitor activities, demands a towel before even looking at you.

Guyanese have to be resolute, as against being angry, and reformulate new ideas and ways and means to establish farms of content and factories of deliverance.  The PPP still has unfinished business and they want to devour your substance…something to get rid of the pain.  But we are a different caliber that can forgive and not necessarily forget; just look at them and resume your noble ways and be the person you are meant to be.

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