Sunday, 30 September 2018

The "Banker to the poor" in Matera

On the 9th September, Prof. Muhammad Yunus presented his new book in Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019.

It's titled "A world of three zeros. The new economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero net Carbon Emissions".

Muhammed Yunus has been assigned the  Nobel Peace prize in 2006 for his revolutionary approach to the eradication of poverty through the microcredit; in other words, by lending little money to the poors who had nothing to offer as guarantee but the trust of returing the capital plus a minum of interest.

In the early '70ies of last century, Prof Yunus had returned to Bangladesh after having taught Economics in American Universities. In 1974, Bangladesh went through a tremendous famine which killed around 1.5 million of human beings of mass starvation and correlated consequences. 

Such an event proved to Yunus the inadequacy of the theories and concepts he had been teaching for years. 

A profound both professional and personal crisis affected Prof. Yunus. 

"I felt useless. I realized that the economic theories which I was teaching could nothing to tackle poverty and famine".

As result of this, he decided to study the real life of a Bengalese village by experiencing it, living there with the villagers. Just like an antropologist he observed the underlying dinamics which caused poverty such as the need of borrowing money at a high rate of interest so as to carry out a business! 

From this perspective, he realized that women were those who more suffered poverty.

These conclusions  will be determining the vision which inspires the Grameen Bank, established  by Prof. Yunus, in order to by-pass an  unavoidable bottleneck: banks refrain from lending money to poors.

"Banks should be supposed to lend money to those who need it, poors. Instead banks lend it to people who are rich!" Says Prof Yunus.

Around one hundred people have gathered to Palazzo Lanfranchi, where this event is taking place.

Almost four decades have passed since the Grameen Bank has undertaken this visionary job.

"Poverty is not given by the fact that people is lazy! not al all. Poverty is an economical process deliberately conceived".

Therefore, we are witnessing a trend where lesser and lesser people detain the large majority of wealth. 

In order to stop such a vicious circle, Prof Yunus suggests to avoid purchasing from top companies and start doing business with those organizations which do pursue not only profit but also social equality and environmental sustainability!

Selfishness cannot be considered the main trait of mankind. This lie has been introduced to justify inequality which leads to poverty.

From this perspective, world urges more than ever human beings out-of-the-box thinker, such as this optimistic man.

Ultimately, thank you Prof. Yunus for spending your life to give hope to mankind who seems so eager of HOPE for a better future.

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