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‘Time is money’: In this country, time can be deposited in banks

People are generally aware of the phrase ‘time is money,’ but few consider it a viable alternative to cash, and even fewer have used it in this way. Prior to the advent of technology, time was donated on a voluntary basis or as part of a mutual support arrangement among friends or neighbors.

Thousands of individuals can now track their time accurately and quickly. This converts it into a form of money that can be deposited into a bank account and exchanged for desired goods and services. Swiss citizens can save their time and use it later if they deposit it in the Swiss TimeBank. The Swiss Ministry of Health designed the TimeBank concept as an old-age assistance program.

A ‘time bank’ scheme allows people to volunteer to provide assistance to the elderly. The number of hours spent with or caring for the elderly is credited to their social security accounts. As the volunteer reaches the age when he or she needs support, he or she can access the ‘time bank’. A volunteer will be there to help. According to a panel of the National Human Rights Commission, India should adopt the ‘time bank’ scheme.

The scheme:

People can ‘deposit’ and ‘withdraw’ their time through the TimeBank system based on their abilities and needs. This ideology was born out of altruistic principles from a simpler era. It is both simple and noble.

The process:

It is simple to understand the concept of time banking. Individuals or organizations provide time-based services to other organizations. It could also include IT services, consultations, babysitting, hairdressing, gardening, construction, tutoring, or any other time-consuming task. Time banks are used to track how much time is spent providing service. As time-based units accumulate in the time bank, they can be used to purchase time-based services from other people.

Nations implementing this system:

Apart from Switzerland, the UK has adopted the ‘time bank’ plan, and Singapore is considering doing the same.


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