His mother took a small loan which grew into a fantastic figure with the local moneylender. This story relates to a remote village of Tamil Nadu. Hidden from the notice of both his mother and the money lender, a young boy saw first-hand a system which sucks blood from the poor.
This year’s Magsaysay award winner Kulandie Francis was born there. He is the son of the old lady who has turned ninety now. Francis acquired high academic degrees, went to Bangladesh to study working of Grameen Bank and earned name for him but never lost sight of what he had to do in life. He returned home. To change the lives of his mother and women in similar boats.
Today he has been awarded Magsaysay award but he hardly cares as he is motivated from within and needs no accolades to go on. He is a true stuff!
Kulandei Francis’s Integrated Village Development Project in Krishnagiri has done wonders for past decades. It has changed the lives of many in Tamil Nadu villages. He has pursued the economic empowerment of thousands of women and their families in rural India.
Francis helped establish self-help groups for women that supported poverty-stricken women engage in group activities and start micro enterprises, create savings accounts, and secure reliable loans.
At present there are over 8,000 self-help groups across the three districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmpuri and Vellore, supported by IVDP.
Cooperative movement is crying for stuff like Kulandie Francis. Sad that no cooperative leader is ever in race of Magsaysay award, tall talks notwithstanding!