27 September, 2020

One Man's Toil Changes The Economics In An Island Of Poverty

Dr Prabhakar left a cushy job in the US and decided to take micro-credit -- Mohammad Yunus' celebrated model -- to Kollengode, Kerala.

One Man's Toil Changes The Economics In An Island Of Poverty
Dr Prabhakar Puthiyaveedu has shattered an old myth: that impoverished rural women aren't creditworthy. On the contrary, he has proved that they have a natural instinct for budgeting and fiscal management and, given the right stimulus, they are capable of meaningful income-generating initiative.

The man is revolutionising Kollengode, a pocket of poverty in a relatively backward district of Kerala, Palakkad. 'Poverty exists in different shapes and forms,' says Prabhakar, a former English professor who left the cool groves of Washington academia to work among deprived women in Kollengode. His mission: to provide loans to the segment of society that is shut out from the traditional banking system. Poor rural women have no access to loans because the banks insist on collateral.

Prabhakar's inspiration came from Mohammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist who pioneered the system of micro-credit in which loans are provided to rural women and their latent entrepreneurial skills tapped as a means of repayment. Yunus, convinced that textbook economists did not work...



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