General Stuff

Tweets on 2007-05-28

It’s a BIG tweet today!

I couldn’t have read “Banker to the Poor – The Story of the Grameen Bank,” by Muhammad Yunus at a better time. I had bought this book out of sheer boredom at a Landmark store in Chennai. Call it fate or karma or whatever, but this book’s put my mind on fire. The book is all about micro-credit; how micro-credit can successfully eradicate poverty and help deliver basic human rights to its recipients. More importantly, this book is also about the crippling effects that foreign aid can have under the guile of eradicating poverty.

Coincidentally, yesterday’s edition of the BBC’s World Debate – you can watch the telecast every Sunday night at 22:30 – featured the topic “Aid – Is it Working?” during which an “expert panel” was asked

Why is it that despite receiving Foreign Aid for almost 60 years many poor countries remain in deep poverty? For example, in Africa why has aid failed to make poverty history?

Listening to the debate, it was straightforward to conclude that each of the “experts” exhibited the exact “expert” symptoms which Muhammad Yunus has described in excellent detail in his book. Yunus’ take on the World Bank and its expensive consultants is something you shouldn’t miss reading.

At the end of the show the “experts” still did not have an answer to the question: “Is foreign aid really reaching the intended recipients?” Interestingly, while all of them were gung ho about pumping more and more dollars in aid none of them ever touched the topic of micro-credit.

Make this book your next read.


Muhammad Yunus delivered his Nobel Lecture on 10 December 2006 at the Oslo City Hall, Norway. He was introduced by Professor Ole Danbolt Mjøs, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Professor Yunus begins his Nobel Lecture with a few words in Bangla.

See a video of the Nobel Lecture.

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