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Opening Hours
  • Monday - Friday
    9.00 - 20.00
  • Saturday
    10.00 - 16.00
  • Sunday
    9.30 - 18.00

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Struggling Member (Beggar) Program

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 115,042 beggars have joined the program. As of November 2023, the total amount disbursed stood at BDT 188.07 million (USD 2.73 million). Of this amount, BDT 162.19 million (USD2.31 million) has already been repaid. GB is happy to note that 21,383 beggars have left begging, among them, 9,034 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:

  • Existing rules of Grameen Bank do not apply to beggar members; they make up their own rules.
  • All loans will be interest-free. Loans can be of a very long term, to make repayment installments very small. For example, for a loan to buy a quilt or a mosquito net, many borrowers are paying BDT 2.00 (3.4 cents US) per week.
  • Beggar members are covered under life insurance and loan insurance programs without incurring any cost.
  • Groups and Centers are being encouraged to become patrons of this type of members.
  • Each member receives an identity badge with her picture and name, and the Grameen Bank logo. She can display this as she goes about her daily life, to let everybody know that she is a Grameen Bank member and that this national institution stands behind her.
  • Members are not required to give up begging but are encouraged to take up an additional income-generating activity like selling popular consumer items door to door, or at the place of begging.

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.