"When I see a problem, I start to work on its solution. Just start, don’t wait for anybody"
These words by the Nobel Prize winner Prof. Mohammed Yunus spoke to me in a very gentle way. I am a musician and the subject of banking and economics doesn’t come under my radar. But it is not the nitty gritty of banking and economics that I was interested in but I was curious to know how one person started a movement that impacted millions in a very positive and a real way!
In 1970s Mr Mohammed Yunus was a professor of economics teaching in Bangladesh. In his words, "The reality was far from the grand theories that I taught" - his country people were dying of famine. He sensed a deep problem and asked himself, what can I do in this situation and help people? He started lending small amounts of money to villagers and told them to return when they earned back. And to his surprise they did! From 50 borrowers, the no. kept on growing. As more people wanted to borrow money, he went to banks to seek help. After a lot of reluctance the bank gave him some amount. But the no. of borrowers kept on increasing and despite a high success rate of people returning the money, the banks were skeptical and stopped supporting him after a point as they believed it will fail sooner or later !
As a solution Mr Yunus started a bank! Grameen Bank. Bank for villagers. Was it easy? No. It took him three years to start the bank. But once it started, it became a phenomena! Currently Grameen Bank has more than 9 million borrowers with 98 percent success rate! And like wise he solves every other problem that his country faces - electricity, health care, nutrition and the list goes on! Did he wait for Govt? Did he wait for policy changes ? None of these. He just started to work on the problems that he saw. And now, he is the pioneer of micro credit, social business and biggest corporates want to imbibe his ideals and values in their businesses. As a creative person and a musician, I can relate and learn so much from his approach to solve problems, his passion, his unique perspective and a genuine intention to do something valuable. Also, a gentle and a warm personality, when I told him that I am a singer and a musician he mentioned his daughter is a singer too!
The event was also graced by celebrated author Amish, I told him what a huge fan I am of his books and also told him, Kartik composed one of his book trailer launch! It was absolutely fascinating to come face to face with the author that I admire so much. If you are curious what Kartik composed for the trailer launch of Scion of Ikshvaku - here it is
This gathering was hosted by Riyaz Amlani at the most happening Khar Social in a most fantabulous way!
These are the kind of meetings that have power to put the life in a right perspective and being an INK fellow we get these opportunities time and again. To the INK family and mentor to all the INK fellows Lakshmi Pratury, thank you for enriching our lives by bringing us closer to beautiful people across the globe and introducing us to their ways of LIFE! These are some of my takeaways from an evening well spent. Back to what I love the most - Music!