bandhyopadhyay - Microfinance in improvement of living...

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Microfinance in improvement of living standard and GNH Saugata Bandyopadhyay, Assets Reconstruction Company (India) Limited , India, saugata71@yahoo .com Theme: Social Transformation Research domain: Living Standard ABSTRACT The paper mainly aims to extend the philosophy of capability development at the micro level for achieving individual happiness as a part of a community through social transformation and to achieve happiness at individual and community level. One of the main indicators for Gross National Happiness is living standard and this paper will examine briefly the role of microfinance in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan in transforming the lives and social behaviour of the poor people of this part of the world. The paper will try to establish the strong linkage between micro finance and capability building through the process of social transformation by improvement of living standard for arriving at Gross National Happiness. INTRODUCTION “The people have to be seen in this perspective (development as freedom), as being actively involved – given the opportunity - in shaping their own destiny, and not just as passive recipients of the fruits of cunning developments” -- Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen, [3, p53] The Gross National Happiness (GNH) concept has evolved over time from highlighting the inadequacies of the traditional economic theories of measuring development and determining the direction of the development policy, introducing “four pillar” objective approach (Balanced Equitable Development, Environment Conservation, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage, and Good Governance) in line with Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to the effort of operationalising the same with the introduction of measurement indicators. The standard of living, health of the population, education, ecosystem vitality and diversity, cultural vitality and diversity, time use and balance, good governance, community vitality, and emotional
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well being are the nine provisional Gross National Happiness (GNH) indicators identified by the Centre for Bhutan Studies, Bhutan. GNH is always projected as a simple approach and at the same time so highly encompassing in its objective of happiness to all, that its operationalisation is quite complex. Happiness is a very simple term and often misunderstood by many by dissecting the same completely from the money part. It has to be understood that for a vast majority (poor as we call), basic requirement of money is for their existence and not for their materialistic fulfilment. Thus, the friction between individual happiness and that of community happiness to the National Happiness will always be a complex tapestry. Hard facts of our world that can not be ignored
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bandhyopadhyay - Microfinance in improvement of living...

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