The dangers of microcredit
Posted by mikeonpurpose on December 31, 2010
I found an interesting article with the provocative title “Suicides in India Revealing How Men Made a Mess of Microcredit”. It turns out that many impoverished recipients of microcredit loans in India have become so saddled with debt that they have been driven to kill themselves:
As India struggles to provide decent education, health care and jobs to millions still locked in poverty, microlending — the loaning of small sums to the world’s neediest people to help them earn a living — has taken a perverse turn.
“Selling debt is like selling drugs,” says Harper, 75, the author of more than 20 books on microfinance and other topics. “Selling debt to illiterate women in Andhra Pradesh, you’ve got to be a lot more responsible.”
When a charitable project becomes sullied by naked profiteering, the results are, unfortunately, foreseeable, especially when such profiteering is directed at a society’s most vulnerable segment.