The Children’s Development Khazana is a bank staffed and patronized exclusively by children. It started in New Delhi in 2001 and has since opened up more than 200 branches in half-a-dozen countries.
The branches are run almost entirely by and for the children, with account holders electing two volunteer managers from the group every six months.
“Children who make money by begging or selling drugs are not allowed to open an account. This bank is only for children who believe in hard work,” said Karan, a 14-year-old “manager”.
During the day, Karan earns a pittance washing up at wedding banquets or other events. In the evening, he sits at his desk to collect money from his friends, update their pass books and close the bank.
“Some account holders want to withdraw their money. I ask them why and give it to them if other children approve. Everyone earns five per cent interest on their savings.”