Monday, June 29, 2009

Creating A World Without Poverty

Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
by Muhammad Yunus

Winners of the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE (Muhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank)

"At Garmeen Bank, we had to develop our own definition of poverty so that we would be able to measure our success in helping people rise out of poverty through we developed a ten-point system that describes specific living conditions. Once a family has succeeded in clearing all ten of these hurdles, then we at Grameen Bank consider them to have escaped from poverty. The the ten points are:

1. The bank member and her family live in a tin-roofed housed or in a house worth at least $370. The family members sleep on cots or a bedstead rather than the floor.
2. The member and her family drink pure water from tube-wells, boiled water or arsenic-free water purified by the use of alum, purifying tablets, or pitcher filters.
3. All of the member's children who are physically and mentally fit and above the age of six either attend or have finished primary school.
4. The member's minimum weekly loan repayment installment is around $3.
5. All family members use a hygienic and sanitary latrine.
6. All family members have sufficient clothing to meet daily needs, including winter clothes, blankets, and mosquito netting.
7. The family has additional sources of income, such as a vegetable garden or fruit-bearing trees, to fall back on in times of need.
8. The member maintains an average annual balance of $75 in her savings account.
9. The member has the ability to feed her family three square meals a day throughout the year.
10. All family members are conscious about their health, can take immediate action for proper treatment, and can pay medical expenses in the event of illness.

The important point is that poverty must be clearly defined so that an anti-poverty program can have a clear target clientele and one or more clear objectives to attain."

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