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RE: Grameen Bank Query



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A summary of a short account i read about the grameen Bank in 'Developing 
World 99-00':

The Grameen Bank was started by Mohammed Yunus, in the early 90s (i think - 
not sure of that). Since the banks in Bangladesh refused to lend to the poor 
on the basis of 'high-risk', Yunus decided to help a small group out with a 
short term loan. The money was marginal for him, and he decided to take the 
risk, and he was promptly paid back within the agreed time limit. The people 
who had borrowed from him had started a small business, and had paid him back 
as well. Realising how unfortunate it was that the banks refused to help 
people with their hopes to start small businesses, Yunus started a small
bank, 
which lent money at very low rates of interest, for short periods of time.

I think the bank started with making loans only to women (in the interest of 
raising women out of poverty and their social situation), and has come to
lend 
to men as well. One of the things it does is to make the women who borrow 
repeat a short statement (some 10 lines long) aloud, which asks them to 
reiterate the importance of education among other such social messages.

The bank boasts extremely high recovery rates (something like 96-99 percent), 
and had reached the lives of something like 1 million people by 1998.

However, while much has been said in praise of the bank, a lady I knew who 
studied the role of NGOs in Bangladesh mentioned that some of the women she 
interviewed said that they took the money from the Grameen Bank but never did 
anything with it. Two reasons: 1) the bank required first installments to be 
paid back so quickly, that they couldn't do very much, and 2) patriarchy 
within the society persisted to prevent them from really doing anything with 
the money they took.

KR

>===== Original Message From debate@indiapolicy.org =====
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>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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>Gentlefolk, Greetings.
>
>> One of the most successful programs in alleviating poverty is the Grameen
>> Bank in Bangladesh.  I would like to see a  "Swadeshi Bank" established in
>
>Indeed Raju, i have heard much said about the Grameen Bank - yet i know
>little of it other than the name. Could you or someone else illuminate the
>guiding principles and policies that drive this institution?
>
>- Amit Garg.
>
>
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>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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