Showing posts from October, 2010

Course correction for Microfinance

Microfinance has been a buzzword in the past few years and mainstream opinion of it has largely been positive. While it has been around in different forms since decades, in its current avatar, it has been championed by Muhammad Yunus who, along with his Grameen Bank, have become the face of microfinance ever since winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. India too, has borrowed and adapted the concept, as an important means of rescuing people from being part of the largest poverty stricken population in the world.
But a lot has changed in the past few weeks and the current microfinance crisis in A.P. is a wake-up call to all the stakeholders in this industry. India has one of the largest and fastest growing microfinance industries and a lot is at stake. For those not familiar with the developments, a quick backgrounder: A. P. is the hub of microfinance activity in the country and Hyderabad it's 'capital' with most of the major microfinance institutions (MFIs) having their hea…

A Case for Optimism

My last two posts have been on existential angst and a fruitless pursuit of happiness. It is only fair that I balance it out with a little optimism, not just for the sake of it, but because there is a case for it.
For as bad as the global economic, social and political situation might currently be, it is still the best time to be alive on planet Earth. And things will keep getting better. Fifty years from now, we will live in a different world. To get a glimpse of that future take a look at the commercial below and read the Millennium Development Goals.

The eight Goals are: Eradicate extreme poverty and hungerAchieve universal primary educationPromote gender equality and empower womenReduce child mortalityImprove maternal healthCombat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseasesEnsure environmental sustainabilityDevelop a Global Partnership for Development
All this by 2015. And that is certainly a case for optimism.