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Time-Bank in Madhya Pradesh

  • 09 Sep 2019
  • 3 min read

Recently, the Madhya Pradesh government’s Happiness department has planned to set up a TimeBank. TimeBank is a reciprocal service exchange which uses units of time as a currency.

  • TimeBank would lend currency in exchange for an hour.
  • This earned hour could be used to learn a new skill, without the need to pay any paper money.

The Underlying Idea

  • The core value behind this idea is that we all are assets that are driven by reciprocity. Giving focused attention to each & every voice will help promote the equality and dignity of labour.
  • It is a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs.
  • Whenever a bank member needs a service or wants to acquire a skill, for e.g, gardening or playing the guitar, the member could exchange a credit worth an hour with another member knowing that particular skill.
  • In the beginning, the 50,000 volunteers registered with the department through local networks will form community-level banks and list skills they could impart or services they could offer. This will help in building the trust factor as known individuals will interact with one another.
  • Later, an experienced volunteer will induct new members and keep a record of all the transactions.
  • It can be considered as a modern barter system.


  • The idea of Timebank was conceived in 1827. But the concept gained popularity with the setting up of the first Time Bank in Japan in 1973.
  • Later, the CEO of TimeBanks U.S.A popularized the idea of Time Dollars.
  • Today, there are more than 500 such communities across 32 countries.
  • It can also be noted that earlier in October 2018 a panel of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on disability and elderly persons had recommended the “time bank” scheme to take care of senior citizens who are living alone without any support from their family.
  • Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country that created the Happiness Department in 2016.
  • The state government also prepared a happiness calendar for helping its citizens to remain happy and dedicated to the right causes.

Source- TH

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