To escape poverty, Binesh Balan worked as a labourer in his native Kolichal in Kasaragod, Kerala when he was in class 4.
Two decades later, 29-year-old Balan is a researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (Holland) who has successfully developed an open banking software.
Binesh comes from Mavilan tribal community. In his journey from Kasargod to Amsterdam, Binesh broke the boundaries of caste and took complete authority over his situation. His positive attitude and will-power helped him triumph over adverse poverty-situations and paved a way to his dream career.
Working as a researcher in a social and cultural anthology in Amsterdam since 2019, Binesh recalls the innumerable obstacles he faced in his journey. "From language, college admission and getting a scholarship, there was no shortage of obstacles. But I was able to overcome the hurdles with the help of a few enlightened minds," says Binesh as reported by The New Indian Express.
Recalling his early years, Binesh shares that he was always passionate about computers and programming.
Since last year, Binesh and his colleague from Idukki started working on a banking software which will cater to future generations. After working on it for around a year, he has successfully developed it as an open banking software. The Fintech software that Binesh had developed will be called Reciprocity exchange or Rexchange.
What sets the software apart is that unlike the softwares used in the Indian banking system, Rexchange stores money value not in Indian Rupees but in a digital value called Reciprocity or Rv.
The account which keeps Rv is known as the Coop Bank Account Number (CBAN ) which can store high denomination currency values like euro, dollar and pound and can be withdrawn in Indian Rupees.
The CBAN account functions only through the Rexchange app. While looking back at his journey, Binesh says that when he was in Class IV, he used to travel around 8km to the nearest town Rajapuram just to play the video game in an internet cafe.
As Binesh was avidly fond of computers, he learned to develop basic programme language three years later. Also, Binesh shares that he was not an academically bright student, but always had expertise related to computers.
Binesh acquired his degree in Development Economics and later obtained an MBA. According to the report, after finishing both the degrees, he went to the UK under a central government scholarship to study at the University of Sussex.
"I had to work as a cleaning boy from 4 am to 8 am in Sussex since the scholarship amount did not suffice," shares Binesh.
Binesh remarks that the approach of the Kerala civil society, state government and NGOs towards tribal communities is deplorable.
According to him, the general view amid the public is that tribals should learn from the other 'civilised' communities. However, Binesh doesn't agree with this popular opinion about the tribal community and thinks it is just the opposite.
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