Unscrupulous People

SummaryAcknowledgementIntroductionWhy Should We Help?The BenefitsThe Venture ItselfHow to Avoid the Marie Antoinette SyndromeThe Action PlanConclusionSelected Bibliography

In 1976, Yunus continued his quest to help his devastated country by talking to people in Jobra village near the university. He met Sufiya Begum, a young woman who made bamboo stools, buying the bamboo from a middleman and then selling each stool back for a 2-cent profit.

Her life was a form of bonded labor, or slavery. The trader made certain that he paid Sufiya a price that barely covered the cost of the materials and was just enough to keep her alive. She could not break free of her exploitative relationship with him. To survive, she needed to keep working through the trader. (Yunus, 2003, p. 48)

She could have borrowed from a moneylender instead but would have paid from 10 percent interest a week to 10 percent a day. (People who deal with [moneylenders] only get poorer). (Yunus, 2003, p. 47) Yunus saw that the poorest people are the most vulnerable to exploitation. They lack the resources and power that can protect them and allow them to improve their lives.

People like Sufiya were poor not because they were stupid or lazy. They worked all day long, doing complex physical tasks. They were poor because the financial institutions in the country did not help them widen their economic base. No formal financial structure was available to cater to the credit needs of the poor. This credit market, by default of the formal institutions, had been taken over by the local moneylenders. (Yunus, 2003, p. 50)

These local moneylenders were taking heartless advantage of the poor in Jobra.

This photograph shows Yunus meeting with members of Grameen Bank.

Figure 5: Yunus and Grameen members

(Prof. M. Yunus, 1999)

As seen in this photograph, the Grameen Bank members (borrowers) are mostly women, who, unlike men, tend to use their loans to benefit their children and thus society at large (Yunus, 2003, p. 72).

Read More: It’s Their Own Fault If They Are PoorJared Diamond and Western (Cargo)Ineffective AidMuhammad Yunus and MicrocreditUnscrupulous PeopleThe SystemGrameen BankIt Doesn’t Affect Us, So Why Should We Care?The Poor Will Always Be With UsThere Is No Point In Giving AidWhere Does All The Money Go?Africa’s Onerous ChallengesAfrica’s Extreme PovertyCorruption and Poor GovernanceLack of Modern Values and Free Market EconomiesA Population Explosion?Why Not Leave It to the United Nations and the World’s Governments?The UNThe Governments of the WorldGrassroots Movements