Unexploited opportunities

Its unusual for us to highlight books published by Tata McGraw Hill (mostly because they largely tend to be reprints) but a recent enquiry brought up the book Out of Poverty by Paul Polak which was recently published by them. Lifting people out of poverty- 17 million or so by some counts- using a grassroots approach, Polak and the International Development Enterprises have been spectacularly successful.

The IDE website asserts that they are a "different kind of non-profit organization, .... dedicated to ending poverty in the developing world not through handouts, but by helping poor farmers invest in their own success." Their manifesto is decidely and firmly optimistic and upbeat, declaring their belief in " the right of poor women and men to a secure livelihood, that markets can be a powerful force for poverty reduction, the value of innovation and entrepreneurship, and their confidence in their ability to make a significant difference". And it appears that there are significant market opportunities for the desperately poor that Polak and his group have identified and helped develope.

A point of view that is worth considering in the midst of an inflation that threatens to drag us all into poverty. In our Economics, Development Studies, and General Books sections. Rs 295. Paperback, 248 pages. ISBN: 978-0-07-023027-9

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