BHUBANESWAR: Prof Muhammad Yunus, Noble Laureate whose micro credit system through social banking proved pathbreaking in Bangladesh, on Friday said poverty eradication can not be achieved just by way of government funding. Zero poverty is achievable but it needs activating the citizens.
Delivering the 16th Lecturer of Odisha Knowledge Hub (OKH) here in the State Secretariat, Prof Yunus said poverty reduction can be achieved through appropriate policy, institutions and strong willingness.
The Nobel Laureate said the same model can be replicated in India for removing poverty by improving banking access to the poor. Every individual has qualities of entrepreneurship and by opening access to credit that his/her productivity can be enhanced. He explained how extension of credit to beggars in Bangladesh through Grameen Bank made them entrepreneurs.
“Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Carbon Emission (A world of Three Zeros) are not academic concepts, they are jobs and can be realised through joint action,” he said.
The micro credit system through the models of social banking adopted by Grameen Bank of Bangladesh proved successful in Bangladesh and helped lakhs of families breach the vicious cycle of poverty. It has also proved its worth in empowering women of Bangladesh, he said, emphasising that the similar banking model has also been successfully attempted in different western countries.
Prof Yunus lauded the lead taken by Odisha in ‘knowledge sharing’ about good governance through OKH and the model should be followed by other States.
After the lecture, Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary R Balakrishnan said, the micro finance model initiated by Prof Yunus is a proven one both, in Bangladesh and USA. “It was a great learning experience listening to him and would be helpful in improving access of poor to the banking system,” he added.
Prof Yunus also presented a copy of his recently published book “A World of Three Zeros” to Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patra and Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.
Rajya Sabha Member Achyuta Samanta was also present. The growing popularity of OKH lecture has prompted the Government to extend its beaming to district headquarters through video conferencing.
The Nobel Laureate also launched his book at an event organised by Kadambini, a local magazine, in the city later in the day. The event was attended by well-known actor, director Rahul Bose.