The only place where poverty should be is in museums.
We have to get out of this mindset that the rich will do the business and the poor will have the charity.
I strongly believe that we can create a poverty-free world, if we want to…. In that kind of world, [the] only place you can see poverty is in the museum. When school children will be on a tour of the poverty museum, they will be horrified to see the misery and indignity of human beings. They will blame their forefathers for tolerating this inhuman condition to continue in a massive way.
If we are looking for one single action which will enable the poor to overcome their poverty, I would focus on credit
Credit is a human right that should be treated as a human right. If credit can be accepted as a human right, then all other human rights will be easier to establish.
In the future the question will not be, “Are people credit-worthy”, but rather, “Are banks people-worthy?”
We can remove poverty from the surface of the earth only if we can redesign our institutions – like the banking institutions, and other institutions; if we redesign our policies, if we look back on our concepts, so that we have a different idea of poor people.
… Women have plans for themselves, for their children, about their home, the meals. They have a Vision. A man wants to enjoy himself …
… Invisible Berlin Walls must go. We are not even trying to make it happen. Whenever we talk about the people at the bottom or the poor people, our usual reaction is to write a cheque. Okay, take care of them, feed them, clothe them, give them some place to live. But we don’t touch the wall. We simply say, let them stay on the other side of the wall, but feed them a little. What I’m saying they don’t need your throw-away money, they don’t need handouts. They need an opportunity, a fair deal. They don’t get a fair deal right now. Poverty is the denial of all human rights. I am talking about establishing their human rights. If we do that the walls will disappear. Poverty will go …
… When tiny, tiny things start happening a million times, it becomes a large thing. It lays down the foundation of a strong economic base. With women participating in building this economic base, it becomes the foundation for better social and economic future …The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them.
Each individual person is very important. Each person has tremendous potential. She or he alone can influence the lives of others within the communities, nations, within and beyond her or his own time.
…a culture that holds people back should and can be changed…
What good does the theory [of economics] do if it is not working for people?
…culture is useless unless it is constantly challenged by counter culture. People create culture; culture creates people. It is a two-way street. When people hide behind a culture, you know that’s a dead culture.
I should never seek a job in my life, my mission in life is to create jobs. I am not a job seeker, I am a job giver.
Policies are also to blame: the only thing that the governments and people can come up with to give to the poor people is charity. Poor people get hand outs from the state. But this is not a solution to poverty.
I am proposing to create another kind of business, based on “selflessness” that is in all of us. I am calling it social business.
I think, social business is the most logical thing to do. If we had done that, we could reduce all the problems we have.
We have done some of these in Bangladesh. Whenever I see a problem, I immediately go and create a company. That’s what I did all my life.
The current financial crisis makes it very clears that the system that we have isn’t really working, and this is the right time for us to undo things and build them in a new way.
If you think creating a world without any poverty is impossible, let’s do it. Because it is the right thing to do.