New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday revealed that he did not have a bank account when he became the chief minister of Gujarat. The Prime Minister spoke about the immense financial hardship he had to go through in his childhood.    

In a heart-to-heart interview with film star Akshay Kumar, Modi said, "Jab main Gujarat se CM bana toh mera bank account nahi tha. Jab MLA bana toh salary aane lagi (I had no bank account when I became the CM of Gujarat. I started to get salary only after becoming an MLA)."

Recounting an incident from his childhood, Modi said once bank representatives had come to his school and gave the kids piggy banks. “They asked us to collect money and deposit it in the piggy banks. But we didn’t have money to save,” Modi said.

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Having seen dark days, Modi would have understood the pains of poverty and not having a bank account. Possibly that is why one of the first steps he took after becoming the Prime Minister in 2014 was to introduce bank accounts for all. Hence the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was born.

Under this scheme 15 million bank accounts were opened on inauguration day. 

Guinness World Records has certified that the “Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the financial inclusion campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial services, government of India”.

Jan Dhan accounts are no-frill accounts that don't need minimum balance. 

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Under PMJDY, Rs 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhar-linked accounts and a RuPay debit card with inbuilt Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover are available. In addition, for accounts opened between August 15, 2014 and January 26, 2015, a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000 is available to the eligible beneficiaries. 

One of the salient features of the scheme is that after remaining active for six months, the account holder will become eligible for an overdraft of up to Rs 5,000. 

PMJDY aims to expand financial services like banking, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions.

The original target of PMJDY was opening bank accounts for 7.5 crore uncovered households in the country by January 26, 2015. But banks opened 12.54 crore accounts as on January 31, 2015, which highlighted a massive success story. 

According to reports, the deposits have shown a steady positive growth trend. Since the time it was launched, over 35.39 crore subscribers have benefited from the scheme.

Recently, the total deposits in bank accounts opened under the Jan Dhan scheme are set to cross Rs 1 trillion soon.

The total balance in the Jan Dhan accounts, which has been steadily rising, was at Rs 97,665.66 crore as on April 3, 2019 according to the latest government data.

The total number of Jan Dhan accounts have crossed 35.39 crore. According to the government, an almost 100% coverage has been achieved in terms of opening of bank accounts. Significantly, 60% of the accounts opened are in rural areas and 40% in urban areas. Fifty-one per cent of the account holders are women.  

Jan Dhan Yojana, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the biggest successes under the Modi government, and it was a result of the Prime Minister's initiatives to ensure that the poor of the country don't have to bear the burden that he once had to carry.