To reach out to the beggars, Grameen Bank has adopted a special social responsibility program called “Struggling Members Program” which was started in July 2002. “Begging” is considered the last resort of a poor person. The beggars’ cluster includes the disabled, the blind, and the handicapped as well as the sick elderly.
The purpose of the program is to provide financial support services to the beggars to assist them to find out a dignified livelihood. It is considered not only as a financial service but also as a social movement at a wide range.
The Grameen Bank does not push for the cessation of begging, but, with the help of this interest-free loan, it creates a financial capacity so that one does not have to beg. The bank desires to assure that no one in Grameen Bank's village begs for survival.
The loan is approved to the eligible person according to the following criteria: Actual situation of the person and ability to repay through income, not from begging money.
The existing rules of Grameen Bank do not apply to beggar members. All loans will be interest-free.
These loans are automatically insured without any premium and are paid off from the insurance fund in case of death.