Microcredit Suicide Story out of Bangladesh

November 21, 2011
bdnews24, the enthusiastically anti-Muhammad Yunus website that last year carried the Yunus 'siphoned Tk 7bn aid for poor' headline, just posted on the apparent suicide of a man named Yunus Sardar. This Yunus was 25 years old and, along with his wife, reportedly owed 70,000 taka to seven microcreditors including the Grameen Bank and ASA. She found him hanging from the ceiling on Saturday.You can read this story in several ways, most of which I probably don't have to develop for you. It is just one story out of millions of borrowers. It is a sign of that there is too much microcredit in Bangladesh too. It is from a biased source. We don't know how many suicides microcredit has prevented in Bangladesh. We don't know for sure that microcredit was the cause here.One spin might not occur to you: A stream of such stories in Andhra Pradesh, in the papers and on television, figured centrally in government backlash against microcredit last year. If more such stories emerge in Bangladesh, it could spell real trouble for microcredit there. I imagine the editors of bdnews24 are aware of the history in Andhra Pradesh and what it would mean to repeat it.Of course, they've probably understood that for a year, so the rarity of such stories (this is the first I've seen) may point to a scarcity of material.What I don't know is whether there have been many stories like this in the Bangladeshi language press.


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