Ruins of an SBI branch in Bhuj, amidst the wreckage of Gujarat earthquake (2001).
2001. Extensive property damage apart from loss of life. Most banks in the affected region were reduced to rubble. 68 commercial bank branches in the earthquake affected region of Gujarat were completely damaged while 80 were partially damaged. This was when banking facilities were not fully digitised yet.*
Disasters are a big equaliser where the challenges transcend the boundaries of rich and poor. In a time when we can do all our banking from our phone, sitting at home, its difficult to imagine how it was after the gujarat earthquake 10 years back, in a non digitized era when irrespective of whether you were a billionaire or a daily wage worker, all your valuables were in bank safes. The collapse of banks in earthquake affected Gujarat became a big equaliser; creating a wide crisis of access to money for shelter, food and other basic needs.