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Elders With Andrew Denton -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Smith is programming in the

Melbourne production of 'A Melbourne production

Streetcar Named Desire', Bruce

bare field is directing T Your

clanses can be shorter, you did

it well. It had college it well. It had college boy

naivety which we naivety which we need.

# Can'ting drink on the

job. It's a long way from

Street kid to this production

of street car. Stephen Smith is

now in a good place, he's

reunited with his mother and

remains close to his two sops.

He's found his home in the

world of - sons, he's found his

home in the world of opera,

whereat 32 he's considered a whereat 32 he's considered a

young rising star with a big

future. I was walking home from

the Opera House across the the Opera House across

Harbour Bridge in my tails, it

struck me how far I have # Thank struck me how far I have come.

# Thank you.

# Thank you. It wasn't until I

found something I wanted to do

that I started my journey, I encourage any young person to

it. find what you love and go with

it. That report from Lisa

Whitehead, that's the program

for tonight. We'll be back at

the same time tomorrow, for

now, goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

THEME MUSIC

of the world's poorest countries ANDREW DENTON: 'From one richest imaginations. comes a man with one of the world's So limitless, that for him, to history doesn't seem far-fetched.' the idea of consigning poverty

during a terrible famine, 'In Bangladesh 35 years ago he had a simple idea - the poorest of the poor, lend money to transform their lives. then watch as they microcredit bank, the Grameen Bank, He founded the world's first the Nobel Peace Prize. and in 2006 won Muhammad Yunus.' He has literally changed the world - Thank you. Muhammad Yunus, welcome. to live in poverty? Can you describe what it's like you can describe as Poverty is almost... all with the thick wall, living in a box no window, no door, no light. You don't know what's coming next. starting in a different way. You have no idea of new day over and over again. You repeat the same thing No hope, basically. in very uncertain conditions. So you try to survive the day

you have no control of your life. So, that's poverty -

That's total. That's it. it's possible to eradicate poverty? And do you genuinely think I believe in it totally. that's my first premise. Poverty is not part of human being - So, if it's not part of human being, will emerge someday. the real human being

which created poverty, It is the stupidity of human being so stupidity cannot go on. will take over the stupidity The real creativity of human being and it will completely eliminate it, when it will happen. and this is the century And it can be done. or some fantastic thing. It's not a kind of a pipe dream it's us who make the difference, It's possible because to do that, and if we can create the structures

out of poverty just like that. people will raise themselves

to do much bigger things Human beings created and some tiny little thing. than struggle with food and clothes These are prehistoric thing. when there is no such things. Real history will begin Muhammad's experience as a child. 'Poverty was not brothers and sisters. He was one of nine in the seaport city of Chittagong. His father did well as a goldsmith charitable work. His mother was devoted to he absorbed a respect for humanity From them, and a powerful sense of purpose.' what a Bangladeshi boyhood was like? Can you give me a sense of so village life is about space, I come from a village, own toys and devise your own games, about roaming around and devise your then jumping into the rivers. There's plenty of water. Kids love water. they're spending it in water, Half the time, or playing games in water. chasing each other in water we didn't have electricity, We didn't have telephones, gadgets, Internets and so on. we didn't have communication (CHUCKLES) Right. No Internet - it's hard to imagine. entertain yourselves? How on earth did you How did we do that? Yes. You were one of nine children. growing up in a big family? What did you learn from It's a great living. in a one-child family, I wonder how one child... he or she doesn't have a companion. a child grows up, because We had a lot of company.

we'll have compromises, We have fight, we'll gang up with each other, and fight against another one, we'll make a truce with someone your brothers and sisters. and they'll still be from somebody else, So, when under attack to tackle those things. we'll gang up together

working with the World Bank It was a good prelude for and all those organisations. and the United Nations

You get ready for that. got his name right, Dula Mia? Your dad - have I Dula Mia, yes. you were what you were You described him as... largely because of him.

What was it he taught you? Well, he didn't have much education. up to eighth grade. He went to school about fourth grades. My mother went to school to go to school. But he always wanted his children so every single child, He valued education very much, and keep them in school. he wanted to put in school of that level, Usually in a business family

children to come and work with them, they always want to get their my father never did try to do that. expand the business and so on, but "No, no, don't waste your time. My father always said, and continue with your education." You stay in school So that was very important. And he was a very religious person. three times, didn't he? He did the Hajj, I think, He went to Mecca three times. He performed his Hajj. Yeah, that's right. What's your memory of him going...? going to Hajj was a big thing Well, at that time, you to Hajj, so you go by ship. because there's no plane to take to go. And we, as kids, So for them it's a big journey we waited for all the gifts for us when he comes back. Like kids everywhere. Like kids everywhere. What sort of gifts would he bring back from the Hajj? From Hajj he'll bring dates.

This is our very favourite one, so we would like to wait for them. And also trinkets for kids. Even the coins - we loved the coins. He would bring for us the coins of another country, so that's another attractive thing for us. So exotic. Exotic, yes, yeah. What influence did your mum Sofia have on you? My mother was, again, a very religious person. She always wanted to help poor people. Yeah. For both my mother and my father, one thing - they were very religious, but very liberal. They never objected to things that are not exactly conforming to their kind of belief. How did your mother help people? Little things like family problems, between the husband and wife kind of problems. She would be the one to come and make sure that husbands always following track,

that he doesn't take advantage of the wife and so on, or financial problems. Need a little money, she can have the money if children need something. So my mother is the one who can give the money to the things. And you grew up with that example. That's right, yes. I keep saying, in many occasions she will use me to go and deliver things to families because I was the one nearer to her to run around to do her errands, so I'll do that very willingly. When you were 18, you got a scholarship to go and study in America. Mm-hm. What was it like to arrive in America? Well, you read about America all the time, but being there is quite an experience in the cultural shocks

and other things, like, little things, you know. When you go to a restaurant, you order something and dozens and dozens of questions they will ask you before they deliver you. Even in the breakfast, you ask for an omelette, there'll be several questions - what kind of omelette?

I said, "An omelette is an omelette. What can you...?" Because here, you just order an omelette, you get an omelette. You don't get a dozen questions about it. So you don't know how to answer all those questions and you look stupid to say, "Why is she asking questions?" And here you were, a young man in such a different culture. Absolutely. Did you feel shy? Yes. By nature I'm a shy person. Really? Going to a new country, so I became extra shy. And gradually you make friends beyond your region,

and in my case it was mostly Latin Americans who were coming to the United States to study economics, so there are a whole bunch of them. They're so full of funs, full of sing-song. And I thought, "My God, these guys come here and take over the whole place." So that was also very instructive for me, to see how people come and make it their own home.

They don't feel that they're from outside. I'm guessing you picked up a few good dance steps?

No. They tried to show me - I never made it! (LAUGHS) 'In 1971, whilst Muhammad was teaching economics in the US, the Bangladesh war for independence from Pakistan erupted. He spent a year in Washington raising support for the cause, and as soon as he could he returned home to help build the new nation.' SOBBING AND WAILING 'But in 1974, as famine gripped his country, he quickly realised that everything he'd learned about economics, all his theories and financial models, meant nothing in the face of poverty.' Gradually, you realise that it's not a small problem, it's a big problem, and you see in the street those hungry, skinny people almost like skeletons and so on.

You realise that we are in big, big trouble. Was this a shock to you? It's very shocking, because you created... You worked so hard, everybody worked so hard to create a new country, and in your imagination was that all the problems were resolved. Now, in three years, in four years, they are not solved - they've become more acute.

You were lecturing in economics at the time... I'm teaching at that time. ..at Chittagong University. You became uncomfortable about what you were doing, didn't you? Yes. As a young teacher teaching economics

and full of enthusiasm of building a new nation, suddenly you see it's a different kind of thing. You're not fighting against an enemy with the guns and things.

This is just that people can't eat. They die of hunger.

So you challenge yourself, what good is your economics

if you can't find a solution to this problem? All those elegant theories, these are meaningless things. These are just...telltale stories. That's meaningless, empty words. Hungry people don't need your theories.

Hungry people need food, and where is the food coming from? What does the theory says about the food? So you see that they are totally useless in terms of meeting the challenge of the situation, and you are an empty person. You cannot do anything about this. So at one point, I said, "Why can't I just be a human being and stand next to another human being and see if I can touch him, if I can help him even for a single day?"

You decided to go into the field. You went to the village next door, which was Jobra. What did you find there? Well, I didn't expect anything. All I was trying to do was to find someone that I see in need, that's in desperation. So I see a woman, fairly poor, wearing torn clothes and things,

and sitting in front of a terrible house that just doesn't look like a house - it's just a shed with broken pieces of things. And she's making bamboo stool. She has beautiful bamboo stool in front of her. So, suddenly it came to my mind what kind of contrast between her house and her clothes and her face and these beautiful, newly made bamboo stools. She explained to me she makes very little. She makes only twopenny a day. I couldn't believe why anybody would make twopenny a day making this. Mmm.

And the reasons she gave me, because she didn't have the money to buy the bamboo that goes into the bamboo stool. She had to borrow from the trader to buy the bamboo. So I said, "How much is the bamboo? It must be very expensive that you can't afford to buy bamboo." She said, "It costs about 25 cents. And I didn't have the 25 cents, so I had to borrow from the trader." And under the terms of the loan,

she has to sell the products to him exclusively and accept the price that he offers. She cannot compare with any other price. So I said, "My God, she has become a slave labour for him."

For such a small amount of money, she had to sacrifice everything. And I was tempted to give her 25 cents so that she doesn't have to go back to this loan shark. Then I realised that that would be a charity. "Should I do this? Let me think it over." And that night I thought a lot, and in the morning I decided, "Let me go back and make a list of people who are borrowing from such loan sharks," and when my list is complete there are 42 names on the list. The total money they borrowed was $27. And I couldn't believe this. For such a small amount of money, people have to suffer so much.

And I realised that the problem is terrible, but the solution is so simple. I got really excited about the solution. And the solution that came to my mind, I said, "Why don't I give this $27 myself? Forget about this loan shark. I can give this $27 to all these 42 people and ask them to return the money to the loan sharks, and they will be free."

No conditionality will apply with them. I immediately did that. The people in the village look at me in a very strange way as if I have done some miracle.

They couldn't believe anybody could do such a thing. Then another thought came to my mind. If you can make so many people so happy with such a small amount of money, why shouldn't you do more of it? So I wanted to do more of it. When you took your idea of lending money to the poorest people to the banks,

because you thought they could help, what was their response? So I went to the banks and proposed to the bank that he should, the manager should lend money to the poor people. He fell from the sky. He couldn't believe it. He said, "Are you in right type of mind that you are asking me to do that? Bank cannot lend money to the poor people." "Why not?" "Because they are not creditworthy." After about eight months, I came up with another idea. I want to be guarantor. I'll sign all your papers so risk is on me. So this time it's their language and not my language. You broke with a long-established theory that the poorest people, you can't lend to them because they'd never repay you. It turned out not to be true. Absolutely. I mean, after all these 33 years of work, now is a good time to ask that question. Today, Grameen and microcredit works all over the world lending money to the poor people, and it works perfectly.

We lend money to the people - jobless people, women. 100% of them are women. They pay us back. Repayment rate is 99.3%

without collateral, without guarantee, without any lawyers - beautifully. Poverty is not created by the poor people.

It's not their fault that they're poor. Poverty is created by the system imposed on good-blooded human being, and we can peel it off. Today, I can always say that almost two-thirds of the world population are rejected by the conventional banking system for no fault of their own. I say, "Banks come and tell us that you are not creditworthy." I said, "Should be the other way round. The people should be telling whether banks are peopleworthy." Almost all of your clients are women, and you describe how for a woman to get a loan of say, $15,

that they're trembling, they're shaking. Sure. How much courage did it take for women to accept these loans? It took six years to build that courage because she said, "I don't want to do that. I'm afraid to touch money." So we'll literally carry some money with us to let her touch. "Why don't you touch it? Here's the money. It's just a piece of paper.

What's so scary about it?" 'In Bangladesh, the idea women could be trusted with money was revolutionary. When they started out, Muhammad and his colleagues went from village to village, but they weren't allowed to speak directly to women. And they faced a lot of opposition from community and religious leaders, all of them men. But wherever the Grameen Bank's philosophy has spread, it's women who have been the cornerstone of its success.' Then we saw money going to the family through women

brought so much more benefit to the family. Children become the more beneficiary if mother borrows money. If father borrows money, children are nowhere in the picture. If a woman takes the money, she has a very special skill

of managing scarce resources because, as a woman, she is given a small amount of resources by her husband. She is supposed to manage everything in the family. The agreement that your clients sign, there's a thing called the 16 Decisions, which includes things like an undertaking to draw water from a tube well and to dig a pit latrine, to educate their children, to do no social injustice.

It's more of a social contract than a loan. Why is it like that? These decisions came out of their own discussions. We didn't impose them. So, then we go back. "These are your decisions." They memorise them, they repeat them,

they chant them as slogans and so on, so this became part of their life. We said, "Loan has nothing to do with it. You get loan anyway. But what do you do with your loan? Change your life." You've had some strong opposition and sometimes some violent opposition. People who've worked for you have been threatened with violence.

There have been bombs. And you have linked poverty to terrorism. Poverty is a breeding ground for all kinds of terrorism, all kinds of violence, because it breeds frustrations

and you become impatient to break through. And if something happens, that somebody says, "Here is the gun. Take this gun, we'll give you food" - immediately you accept that because food is so important. "Here is the gun. We'll give you a good life." I take it because I don't want to rot in this place. So it's easy. I'm not saying that explains everything, but it's easy. The more you can take people out of poverty, there's more chance that you'll achieve peace or less violence, or you reduce terrorism. APPLAUSE, FANFARE PLAYS 'That link between poverty and violence won Muhammad the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.' Grameen Bank and I are deeply honoured

to receive this most prestigious of all awards. This year's prize gives the highest honour and dignity to the hundreds of millions of women all around the world who struggle every day to make a living and bring hope for better life for their children. 'And it won him something more - a chance to reunite with his daughter Monica, who grew up in America with his first wife and who has since become an opera singer of renown.' # O mio babbino caro # Mi piace e bello, bello... # Getting a Nobel Prize itself is the highest point anybody can ever reach. On top of having your own daughter singing on that occasion and mesmerising the audience is a fantastic thing to get together. You've got two daughters. What's been your approach to parenthood? Well, I try to encourage them

to do whatever they would like to do in their life. One thing, only thing I remind them, that you be useful to the world so that it's not just you did it yourself, so that your life meant something to many other people. (SINGS HIGH NOTE) APPLAUSE AND CHEERING 'Muhammad's idea of microcredit is now practised around the world, but he believes there is much more that can be done.' You believe in a thing called "social business".

What is that and why would that be more attractive than the idea of making money? Business means business to make money, so this whole world has only one pair of glasses - profit-making glasses. So we are fitted with the profit-maximising glasses. We see the world with profit-maximising. We cannot think of anything else. All I'm asking, why can't we take this off for a while and put on the social-business glasses? Whole world would look different, so I will have a choice. I'll try both on and see what I want to do, and I'll do it. What would that business look like? That business would be to change the world. In that business, everything for others, nothing for me. And people say, "Oh, are you sure you can build business out of this?" I said, "All I am saying, not giving it away. I'm talking about investing it." When you invest, you can take your money back,

but the machine keeps running. Because it's a business, business has to make profit. Profit continues with it, but you don't get anything out of it. What are you investing in? You're investing in companies which... Companies which... ..for social good. For social benefits. When we started doing a business with big companies as a social business, then they said, "Oh, what does it mean?" The first one was with a company called Danone. We produce yoghurt.

This yoghurt has a very specific purpose. There are millions of children in Bangladesh who are malnourished, so what we have done, we took all the micronutrients which are missing in the children, put it in this yoghurt, make this yoghurt very cheap, because once you are in social business, lots of cost disappear. There's no marketing cost. And if a child eats two cups of this yoghurt a week and continues to do so for eight or nine months, the child becomes a healthy child, regains all the micronutrients and he becomes a playful child. So this is the purpose of the company. That's what makes it a social business. But it doesn't want to lose money. The promise of the investors is, "We can get back our investment money,

but nothing beyond that, not a penny beyond that." Profit stays with the company for expansion and so on. So that's a social business. I'm interested in how you break the cycle. To a young person that's 20 who's grown up in a consumer society, that's seen the generation before them

win all the fruits of that consumer society, what is gonna make them change from a life where they make a profit for themselves to a life where they are gonna invest in social business? What will make them change? See, making money is an exciting thing. You find a lot of pleasure in making money.

Changing world is most exciting thing in the world. All we have to make a decision that I will not live in my life in a way that will take away enjoyment of life for another person. That simple decision, that's all. It's a powerful thing that you're talking about. I mean, I'm just thinking probably one of the most popular shows on television around the world is called Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It's about the desire for money. There should be another show - Who Wants To Change The World? But that show, you're not promoting, because those who made the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire makes million out of it. So you believe that people inherently want to do good? Absolutely. The basic thing in human being is to be good and to be good to others. Well, that's an interesting question. How much faith do you have in the future of humanity?

Tremendous. I'm very optimistic. Human being is a wonderful creation. At the end, they come to the right decision. It takes lot of time for them, but they get around.

Muhammad, what do you see when you look in the mirror? A person with limited capacity. I wish I had more way of expressing myself, more creativity than I have so that I could make a much bigger impact than what needs to be done. Failure is a very powerful teacher. When have you failed and what did you learn from that? Even if we failed, it was a temporary failure. It was a failure at that moment the way you designed it. So you'll let it rest for a while, your mind clear up, and three years later, three years later down the line, you say, "Ah, let's do it this way."

You go back and now it works again. So, give something space? Absolutely. Failure is a basis for success. You've just turned 69. That's right, yesterday.

How do you feel? I feel good. (CHUCKLES) Is 69 good? Yes, 69's a good year. (BOTH CHUCKLE) You have incredible energy - where does that come from? Energy comes from the work that I do. It's very inspiring. That's why people challenge. They said, "You have been enjoying work so much

because you make so much money. You're so happy with making money." I said, "You just try it out, making your energy available to change the world. What an excitement that is!" Touching another person's life is the most intoxicating experience you can ever feel. I admire your spirit. Thank you.

It's been a pleasure talking to you, Muhammad. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks a lot. Closed Captions by CSI - Debbie Coughlin

This Program is Good evening- Virginia Haussegger with an ABC news update. Former opposition leader opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has unleashed a scathing attack on his successor Tony Abbott, over his climate change position. In a strongly-worded blog entry Mr Turnbull has personally attacked Abbott for inconsistency and his Turnbull has personally attacked Mr promise to cut carbon without a tax

or Emissions Trading System. A Indonesian army colonel has admitted or Emissions Trading System. A forme Indonesian killed the so-called Balibo five Indonesian soldiers deliberately journalists to cover up the invasion of East Timor. Gatot of East Timor. Gatot Purwanto, who was a low-ranking special soldier when he took was a low-ranking special forces

soldier when he took part in the 197 assault on Balibo, says a decision was made to kill assault on Balibo, says a rational Australian newsmen. His claims decision was made to kill the contradict official line the men died in contradict Indonesia's long-held crossfire. More than 70 world

leaders, and more than 15,000 delegates are gathering for delegates are gathering for the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen. The meeting's deliver a new deal to cut the Copenhagen. The meeting's goal is to planet's emissions, and worst of climate change. In southern planet's emissions, and avert the

Africa --- climate change has a big talking point. Unseasonal Africa --- climate change has become is hitting the region a big talking point. Unseasonal rain

livestock. Canberra's weather - a total fire ban for tomorrow, a top summer threatening crops and

31. Sydney 35, Melbourne 19, total fire ban for tomorrow, a top o 21. More news in an 31. Sydney 35, Melbourne 19, Adelaid