Student Perspective- Dev Basumallik, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

August 18th, 2011 - No Comments

August 12th – Weekly Reflection 2 – Dhaka, Bangladesh

The second week of my internship at Grameen Bank was drastically different than my first. We left Sunday morning for a 5-day, 4-night village trip where we would be living at a Grameen Branch Office. There are over 2,500 of these offices in Bangladesh serving 8.6 million borrowers. Our branch office was about 60 miles northeast of Dhaka. The staff at the branch office, like many of the rural people we met, could not of been more friendly. We stayed in a room above the first floor of the bank, alongside the branch manager and his family. Our days consisted of attending center meetings, here staff of the bank go to villages in the proximity of branch office and hold meetings with around 50 borrowers. This is where Grameen Bank operates. Villagers at these meetings ask for new loans, pay back weekly installments and communicate any issues they are having with the bank. After the center meetings we would meet with select borrowers, they would graciously invite us into their humble homes and grant us an interview. We met with many different types of borrowers, some had greatly benefited from the bank, others were still in poverty and trying to utilize their loans as best they could. Over the course of the week we met with about a dozen different borrowers all with different stories. We met with two girls that had received scholarship money and student-loans and were now attending college. Another member was a beggar who used the money to buy some cows, goats and chickens to help supplement his income. Overall the week was an amazing journey into the lives of people who now had the tools to help themselves because of Grameen Bank. My final week in Dhaka will be consist of meeting with different departments of the bank and learning about Grameen sister companies, which are separate ventures aimed at various social causes.

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