Beggars are the hardest to reach under the conventional poverty alleviation program. To capture this elusive group Grameen Bank contrived an innovative scheme in 2002 called Struggling Members Program. Begging is the last resort for survival for a poor person unless he/she turns towards crime or other forms of illegal activities. Among the beggars, there are disabled, blind, and retarded people, as well as old people with ill health. Over 113,750 beggars have joined the program. As of December 2021, the total amount disbursed stood at BDT 185.96 million (USD 2.72 million). Of this amount, BDT 160.18 million (USD2.29 million) has already been repaid. GB is happy to note that 21,383 beggars have left begging, among them, 9,032 beggars have joined Grameen Bank groups as mainstream borrowers.
The objective of the program is to provide financial services to the beggars to help them find a dignified livelihood, become regular members of Grameen Bank, send their children to school and make them graduate. We wish to make sure that no one in the Grameen Bank villages has to beg for survival.
The basic features of the program are:
In the Covid-19 situation, Grameen Bank assists the Beggars:
Grameen bank provided food aid to 20556 extremely poor beggar families (struggling members in the language of Grameen Bank) at the height of the Corona pandemic with the decision and direct cooperation of the present Board of Directors. Each family has been provided 30 KG of rice, 4 kg of pulses, 6 kg of potatoes, 2 kg of salt, 4 kg of onion, 2 liters of oil, 4 soaps, and BDT600 in cash.