Zero Poverty Achievable

Zero Poverty is possible and achievable, opined Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus while delivering the 16th Lecture of Odisha Knowledge Hub (OKH) here at the State Secretariat today.

Prof Yunus maintained that eradicating poverty needs activating the citizens. This cannot be done only through government money.

It can be achieved through appropriate policy, institutions and strong willingness. Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Carbon Emission (A world of Three Zeros)  are not academic concepts; they are jobs and can be realized through joint action, he said.

Further, Prof Yunus said that micro credit system through the models of ‘social banking’ adopted by Grameen Bank of Bangladesh has proved successful in Bangladesh.
The technique has helped lakhs of families removing the mark of poverty from their face.  It has also proved its worth in empowering women of Bangladesh enormously. He emphasized that the similar banking model has also been successfully tried in different western countries.
He expressed the confidence that the same model can be replicated in India and elsewhere for removing the poverty by improving banking access to poor men.
He added that every individual has the qualities of entrepreneurship and it through opening their access to credit that his/her productivity can be enhanced. He showed how extension credit to the beggars in Bangladesh through Grameen Bank has made them the entrepreneurs. 

Prof. Yunus said that Odisha has taken the lead in ‘knowledge sharing’ about good governance through the institution of OKH and the model should be followed by other States.
Top Brass of the State Administration headed by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi was present in the Meeting.

Replying to Media query after the lecture, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan said the micro finance model initiated by Prof Yunus is a proven model both in Bangladesh and USA. It was a great learning experience to listen from him about their experiences.  It would be helpful in improving access of poor to the banking system.
State Minister of Finance and Excise Sashi Bhusan Behera presented the OKH memento to Prof Yunus in commemoration of his visit to the State.  Reciprocating the presentation, Prof Yunus also presented his recently published book ‘A World of Three Zeros’ to the Minister.
The Nobel Laureate also presented a copy of the book to the Chief Secretary Mr.Padhi.

Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries of various departments along with other senior officers, academicians from Universities and senior activists from NGO sector participated in an open house discussion after the lecture.

In view of growing popularity of the lecture, it was extended to two other conference halls of Odisha secretariat and various district head quarters through video conferencing. The Collectors along with senior officers from various districts participated in the lecture through this video conferencing.

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