A year ago, S Kashinath, an illiterate labourer from Tamil Nadu, lost Rs 300000 rupees in savings he invested in a pyramid scheme promising high returns from emu farming.
Now, Kashinath, and around 23 million other low- to middle-income Indians are being courted by a government scheme to boost investment in local stock markets.
The recently introduced Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) - named after the popular prime minister who was assassinated in 1991 - offers Indian investors earning less than Rs 10 lakh rupees a year a 50 percent tax break on stock investments of up to Rs 50000.
Kashinath, though, thinks the plan has as much chance of flying as the Emu birds he bought into.
"I can't even read or write. How do you expect me to buy stocks that I don't understand? My money is stuck, but once I get it back, I'll open a bank account to keep it safe," he said by telephone.
Text: Himank Sharma and Arup Roychoudhury, Reuters
Images: AP, PTI