Dark side of a celebrated sector

By Padmini Swaminathan
The Hindu

Karim_microfinance cover“Beyond its hagiographic transcripts, microfinance is fundamentally a relationship of inequality between the creditor and the debtor. While credit is theorized as “trust” by microfinance proponents, analysing it as debt shows us how debt functions at the confluence of two powerful forces: the financial responsibility to return debts and the social consequences of breaking the “trust” between the borrower and her community”.

Karim's book is a compelling account of the political and economic foundations that led to the creation of the NGO sector, which soon became a quasi-sovereign state dispensing essential services and employment in the rural economy.

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