Nobel laureate and microfinance pioneer Mohammad Yunus, who was in Mysore to open a 200-bed multi-specialty hospital for the working class on Friday, said the need for social entepreneurship is the new call of the day.
The 200-bed Narayana Hrudayalaya will have only general wards and taking cue from Yunus, NH founders have set up a hospital simple and pro-poor in ambience.
“I had heard about the revolution Yunus had created when I was working in Kolkata,” said Dr Devi Shetty, founder of Narayana Health. To make poor people who get scared when they go to corporate hospitals and instead squat on the floor, the new hospital will be friendly for all, insisted Dr Shetty.
Known for his innovative pro-poor model of empowering women in 1976, Dr Yunus, an economic professor, founded Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank and went on to win Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The first microfinance lending bank has benefitted more than 8.5 million women.
When women in his country got into microfinancing, it changed women’s marriage equation too, he said. “When I started the bank, I was clear that 50% of our borrowers must be women. Now rural women have money and their husbands borrow from them,” he told TOI in an interview.
“Money means power. It has given them confidence. And has helped them in their children’s education. Worldwide wherever I go, I see young doctors and engineers who tell me that they hail from the villages of Bangladesh and were assisted by Grameen Bank. That gives me immense satisfaction,” said Yunus.
His advice amid increasing criticism against misadventure of microfinance model in Andhra Pradesh was to be a social entrepreneur. Business does not mean money-making, he reiterated.
“Dissociate selfishness. I delinked business from money-making. Social entrepreneurs can touch the lives of many. It’s not rocket science to create a business model,” Yunus said.