Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Yunus terms poverty as an artificial human-made entity

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New Delhi, Dec 10 (ANI): Terming poverty as an artificial and external imposition on society, Bangladesh Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus has said that it can be removed.

Delivering the second Hiren Mukherjee memorial lecture in the Central Hall of Parliament here on Wednesday, Yunus said: "Poverty has not been created by poor people, but by the systems and institutions made by the certain privileged and monopolised strata of the society.

"The more time you spend among the poor people, the more you become totally convinced that poverty is not created by the poor people. It is created by the systems that we have made, the institutions that we have designed, the concepts that we have formulated. Poverty is an artificial external imposition on a human being and since it is external, it can be removed," Yunus added.

He also said that his Grameen (rural) Bank in Bangladesh has demonstrated that lending money to the poorest in a sustainable way is possible and the most ideal mode to ridge the dividing socio-economic vacuum.

"Poverty has been created by the deficiencies in institutions that we have built, for example, financial institutions. Financial institutions refuse to provide financial services to merely two third of this population. For generations they claim that it could not be done and everybody accepted that.... Grameen Bank questioned this assumption and demonstrated that lending money to the poorest in a sustainable way is possible," he said.

Tracing his micro-finance initiative to the devastating famine in Bangladesh in 1974, Yunus said that within a generation, the little money lent mostly to women changed the way people lived.

The concept of Grameen Bank mooted by Yunus shared the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for lending to the poorest of the poor in a grassroots drive to end world poverty.

He set up a new kind of bank in 1976 to give credit to the poorest in his native Bangladesh, particularly women and enabled them to set up small businesses enterprises. (ANI)

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