What the Rural Poor Can Teach Us

What the Rural Poor Can Teach Us,
Bunker Roy, Earth Times
Even the most well-meaning of poverty ‘experts’ are often too
displaced from their subject to comprehend good resolutions.
First-hand experience, Bunker Roy writes in Earth
is the most valuable teacher one can have when
seeking a long-term solution to poverty. Roy’s background and
education, he said, ‘had made me so arrogant, conceited and
supremely confident that I was prepared to provide instant
solutions and change the world overnight.’ But, after living in a
poor Indian village, Roy discovered a reality that ‘formal’
education failed to convey. ‘We have never given the rural poor a
chance to teach us,’ Roy states. One can gain a real understanding
of poverty, he adds, ‘if only the urban-based, paper-qualified
experts are prepared to listen, be humble, patient,
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