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What is the Muktii Project?
The Muktii project is the innovative idea of Abdul Khalek Quazi, who was inspired to come up with it 15 years ago when his mother village of Manikganj in Bangladesh was crippled by the outbreak of a new phenomenon.
The revolutionary idea of micro-credit was sweeping through the population; these organisations were said to be saving the poor through entrepreneurial loans, yet were expecting extortionist rates of interest in return. People needed to make a ludicrous amount of profit to be able to live with these loans - an impossible task. They were driven to take further loans to try and ease the problem and thus led to a vicious cycle. It had left some of these people drowning in debt, plunging them further into poverty.
With nothing to hold onto, many were driven to suicide, the only escape from these voracious organisations.
An interview with A. Khalek himself uncovers the roots of the Muktii System:
“I mulled over this crisis that was destroying my village and I realised that even when I gave charity to the needy, in actual fact, I wasn’t actually solving the situation, but was making them dependant on this charity. By realizing this, I then grasped the idea that charity needs to be structured in a way that it would encourage people to become self-sufficient.
So I developed a plan for an interest-free system that could truly help the people. Unlike donating to charitable organisations, I aimed to have 100% of the money directly benefiting those in need. None of it would be lost in administration and so there would be no need to charge interest. The full benefit would remain with the poor and would help people time and time again.”
Through this fundamental ideal, A. Khalek has been able to set up and expand his Muktii system to numerous villages over Bangladesh and help hundreds of people.
But how did A. Khalek get around the problem of administration? He recruited people into the position of Regulator, people who work within the villages to distribute and collect the loans.
But their incentive is not to be paid. Instead A. Khalek has found a simple way to give them an alternative benefit that is just as powerful, if not more, then paying them money.
Find out more about how Abdul Khalek Quazi has been able navigate around the costs of administration at How Muktii Works