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Microfinance, Macro Trends

Article Review   by:VijaiKSharma     Original Author: Rohini Nilekani
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Microfinance was started in Bangladesh first, and later in India, with a different model with self-help groups (SHGs) set in early 1980s. It was considered that women working together closely could create some economic and social values. The groups of poor women gave their mutual guarantee for their borrowings and also working collectively.  This led to many success stories. Then due to some persons selling quick and large fortunes from the bottom of the pyramid, in five years it has become a chaotic marketplace with inadequate regulation. There are no strong group formations. The idea is that loose coalitions of joint liability groups will help in poverty removal. Individual ambition being the order of the day, there are more financial schemes for them and thus the individual citizen gets resources easily. There are several shifts in economy e.g. public-private partnerships for developing infrastructure. But we should assess if such changes are for the benefit of persons. The focus shifts away from works needing collective action, and continued and united efforts. But due to our poverty, we have to find ways of cooperation, but the existing models should not be disturbed.
Published: December 26, 2010   
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