On May 11th it was announced that a BBC World Service program was the winner of the One World Award for a Radio program with it’s ‘Assignment : India’s Microcredit Meltdown‘. The program is focussed on the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where the microcredit industry is in crisis.
The program was first broadcast on BBC World Service at 9:05AM on Thursday, 27th January 2011. You can listen to the 25 minute radio program here .
Investigating India’s microcredit crisis
Assignment reporter Madeleine Morris recounts her visit to south-east India to make sense of the personal stories recounted by those who have benefited from and suffered at the hands of micro-lending companies. Read the rest here
This was one of the first programme’s to question the belief that microcredit can be a mass solution to poverty. Millions of impoverished women take out small loans through microcredit schemes. The aim is to help them generate their own incomes, so they can eventually lift themselves out of poverty. But in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the industry is in crisis and microfinance has trapped many women in a cycle of debt, rather than lifting them out of poverty.
What the judges had to say about the Program :
Revelatory. Threw a light on an otherwise rather hidden topic. Very well-structured. It flowed well. Drew in the listener to every aspect of the issue. Good investigative journalism but never dry. It demolished cleverly the Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus’ claim that microfinance could ‘put poverty in a museum’. Told human stories but held to account the people at the top of the microcredit business. A measured, subtle and memorable piece. A unanimous choice.