VARANASI, INDIA, april 18, 2013 (Times Of India): Banks are in vogue. They always were and will be. Almost all of them transact in worldly currencies but some are exceptions. The Ram Ramapati Bank situated in Dashashwmedh area is one of those rare exceptions. Here the owner of the bank lends not money but paper, pen and ink that are used by its customers to inscribe "Ram." These papers are then deposited in their respective accounts in the bank.
The bank celebrates its 86th annual function on the occasion of Ram Navami on Friday. It has a deposition of over 19 billion Ram naam scripted on papers. Counting is done in January every year. The bank, started by Das Channulal Ji, in 1926 as a family and friends business now has an international presence, many of the account-holders are NRIs.
Like all banks, Ram Ramapati Bank also has rules for its transactions. Anybody, irrespective of caste, gender, religion and even nationality, can be its member. The only prerequisite is that the person should have a firm belief in Lord Ram. "It doesn't matter who you are and where you come from, you can be a member of this bank if you have faith in Ram and are ready to follow conditions laid by the bank," said Das Krishna Chand, manager of the Ram Ramapati Bank.
Conditions include the first phase deposition of 150,000 Ram naam in eight months during which no alcohol and nonvegetarian food is allowed. It is interesting to know that though most of the account-holders are devout Hindus and followers of Lord Ram, but there are a few members of other religions too who have deposited their scripts in the bank.