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Westpac scholar brings financial knowledge to Indian women

10 January 2018

Necessity and invention often go hand in hand. The Wire’s Emma Foster talks with a young woman who is bringing financial knowledge in India to other women and the impact is far reaching.

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When Ishaa Sandhu (above, third from left) visited New Delhi for a month-long university internship just over a year ago, she couldn’t have predicted the financial chaos she was stepping into.

Just two weeks before, the Indian government made a surprise announcement that, overnight, it would scrap 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes – which accounted for more than 85 per cent of cash by value circulating in India, and worth the equivalent of a staggering US$260 billion. The Prime Minister billed the stunning demonetisation move as a strike against counterfeiters and a step towards a cashless economy.

Endless queues ensued outside banks and ATMs as people rushed to exchange banknotes for new currency. Businesses in the heavy cash-based economy ground to a halt. Local stock prices slid. India, tipped to become the third-largest economy globally in the next decade behind China and the US, quickly hit the headlines around the world.

Ishaa Sandhu is a 2016 Westpac Future Leaders Scholar. For more on Ishaa's work with beauty and banking…

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