Gramin Bank revolutionised the view of looking towards poverty by its concept of self help groups. Muhammad Yunus the founder-philosopher of the banking concept must be given credit for bringing into light the livelihood factor into center-stage of the banking system. He started with offering very small loans to groups of poor persons. This helped these poverty ridden people to apply their skills for earning the livelihood. One rule of Grameen Bank is that preferably loans are offered to groups of poor women. Through this a gender-based approach to development financing is taken care of, apart from pulling efforts of poor women as Teams. If a single member of the team defaults the due payment, further assistance to that group is stopped. This creates a sense of collective responsibility within the group to strive harder and repay the loans.
Knowing the potential of modern means of communications like cell phones, Grameen Bank has also started a new venture of Grameen Phone which aims at bridging the cellular divide within the poverty ridden Bangladesh. Now Grameen Phone has become a major cellular service provider in Bangladesh.
However, the model of self help groups is not much successful at quelling poverty in rural areas. Faulty administration of schemes, lack of awareness of target groups are the major reasons for this lackluster performance in India. When any such scheme fails then the most fundamental reason is lack of a matured demand for that scheme. This matured demand can be achieved through coordinated efforts from all sections of society including politicians, government, administration and media.
Another fault (which is a historical, well analysed reason of many a failures) is that of duplication. A model which succeeded in Bangladesh need not succeed in India.
Rather India needs her own Grameen philosophy to abolish Grameen poverty of Indian version.
Grameen Bank on Wikipedia.com
Related news on eSakal.com:
"गरिबी ही यंत्रणेकडूनच निर्माण केली जाते' - नोबेल विजेते प्रा. महम्मद युनूस