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মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস
Muhammad Yunus
Born 28 June 1940 (1940-06-28)
Chittagong, Bengal, British India (now Bangladesh)
Residence Bangladesh
Nationality Bangladeshi
Occupation Founder of Grameen Bank
Religion Islam
Children 2

Muhammad Yunus (Bangla: মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস, pronounced Muhammôd Iunus) (born 28 June 1940) is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. He previously was a professor of economics where he developed the concept of microcredit. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."[1] Yunus himself has received several other national and international honors. He is the author of Banker to the Poor and a founding board member of Grameen America and Grameen Foundation. In early 2007 Yunus showed interest in launching a political party in Bangladesh named Nagorik Shakti (Citizen Power), but later discarded the plan. He is one of the founding members of Global Elders. Yunus also serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public charity created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations causes. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the UN.[2]

Contents

Background

Early years

Muhammad Yunus at Chittagong Collegiate School, while visiting the school in 2003.

The third of nine children,[3] Yunus was born on 28 June 1940 to a Muslim family in the village of Bathua, by the Boxirhat Road in Hathazari, Chittagong, then in Bengal Province of British India (now in Bangladesh).[4][5] His father was Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar, a jeweler, and his mother was Sufia Khatun. His early childhood years were spent in the village. In 1944, his family moved to the city of Chittagong, and he was shifted to Lamabazar Primary School from his village school.[4][6] By 1949, his mother was afflicted with psychological illness.[5] Later, he passed the matriculation examination from Chittagong Collegiate School securing the 16th position among 39,000 students in East Pakistan.[6] During his school years, he was an active Boy Scout, and traveled to West Pakistan and India in 1952, and to Canada in 1955 to attend Jamborees.[6] Later when Yunus was studying at Chittagong College, he became active in cultural activities and won awards for drama acting.[6] In 1957, he enrolled in the department of economics at Dhaka University and completed his BA in 1960 and MA in 1961.

After graduation

Following his graduation, Yunus joined the Bureau of Economics as a research assistant to the economical researches of Professor Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan.[6] Later he was appointed as a lecturer in economics in Chittagong College in 1961.[6] During that time he also set up a profitable packaging factory on the side.[5] He was offered a Fulbright scholarship in 1965 to study in the United States. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States through the graduate program in Economic Development (GPED) in 1971.[7] From 1969 to 1972, Yunus was an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN.

During the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, Yunus founded a citizen's committee and ran the Bangladesh Information Center, with other Bangladeshis living in the United States, to raise support for liberation.[6] He also published the Bangladesh Newsletter from his home in Nashville. After the War, Yunus returned to Bangladesh and was appointed to the government's Planning Commission headed by Nurul Islam. He found the job boring and resigned to join Chittagong University as head of the Economics department.[8] He became involved with poverty reduction after observing the famine of 1974, and established a rural economic program as a research project. In 1975, he developed a Nabajug (New Era) Tebhaga Khamar (three share farm) which the government adopted as the Packaged Input Programme.[6] In order to make the project more effective, Yunus and his associates proposed the Gram Sarkar (the village government) programme.[9] Introduced by then president Ziaur Rahman in late 1970s, the Government formed 40,392 village governments (gram sarkar) as a fourth layer of government in 2003. On 2 August 2005, in response to a petition filed by Bangladesh Legal Aids and Services Trust (BLAST) the High Court had declared Gram Sarkar illegal and unconstitutional.[10]

Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank Head Office at Mirpur-2, Dhaka

In 1976, during visits to the poorest households in the village of Jobra near Chittagong University, Yunus discovered that very small loans could make a disproportionate difference to a poor person. Jobra women who made bamboo furniture had to take out usurious loans for buying bamboo, to pay their profits to the moneylenders. His first loan, consisting of USD 27.00 from his own pocket, was made to 42 women in the village, who made a net profit of BDT 0.50 (USD 0.02) each on the loan, thus vastly improving Bangladesh's ability to export and import as it did in the past, resulting in a greater form of globalization and economic status.[4]

The concept of providing credit to the poor as a tool of poverty reduction was not unique. Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, founder of the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development (now Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development), is credited for pioneering the idea.[11] From his experience at Jobra, Yunus, an admirer of Dr. Hameed,[11] realized that the creation of an institution was needed to lend to those who had nothing.[12] While traditional banks were not interested in making tiny loans at reasonable interest rates to the poor due to high repayment risks,[13] Yunus believed that given the chance the poor will repay the borrowed money and hence microcredit could be a viable business model.

Yunus finally succeeded in securing a loan from the government Janata Bank to lend it to the poor in Jobra in December 1976. The institution continued to operate by securing loans from other banks for its projects. By 1982, the bank had 28,000 members. On 1 October 1983 the pilot project began operations as a full-fledged bank and was renamed the Grameen Bank (Village Bank) to make loans to poor Bangladeshis. Yunus and his colleagues encountered everything from violent radical leftists to the conservative clergy who told women that they would be denied a Muslim burial if they borrowed money from the Grameen Bank.[5] As of July 2007, Grameen Bank has issued US$ 6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers.[14] To ensure repayment, the bank uses a system of "solidarity groups". These small informal groups apply together for loans and its members act as co-guarantors of repayment and support one another's efforts at economic self-advancement.[9]

The Grameen Bank started to diversify in the late 1980s when it started attending to unutilized or underutilized fishing ponds, as well as irrigation pumps like deep tubewells.[15] In 1989, these diversified interests started growing into separate organizations, as the fisheries project became Grameen Motsho (Grameen Fisheries Foundation) and the irrigation project became Grameen Krishi (Grameen Agriculture Foundation).[15] Over time, the Grameen initiative has grown into a multi-faceted group of profitable and non-profit ventures, including major projects like Grameen Trust and Grameen Fund, which runs equity projects like Grameen Software Limited, Grameen CyberNet Limited, and Grameen Knitwear Limited,[16] as well as Grameen Telecom, which has a stake in Grameenphone (GP), biggest private sector phone company in Bangladesh.[17] The Village Phone (Polli Phone) project of GP has brought cell-phone ownership to 260,000 rural poor in over 50,000 villages since the beginning of the project in March 1997.[18]

The success of the Grameen model of microfinancing has inspired similar efforts in a hundred countries throughout the developing world and even in industrialized nations, including the United States.[19] Many, but not all, microcredit projects also retain its emphasis on lending specifically to women. More than 94% of Grameen loans have gone to women, who suffer disproportionately from poverty and who are more likely than men to devote their earnings to their families.[20] For his work with the Grameen Bank, Yunus was named an Ashoka: Innovators for the Public Global Academy Member in 2001.[21]

Recognitions

Muhammad Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Grameen Bank, for their efforts to create economic and social development. In the prize announcement The Norwegian Nobel Committee mentioned:[1]

Muhammad Yunus at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway
Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.

Muhammad Yunus was the first Bangladeshi and third Bengali to ever get a Nobel Prize. After receiving the news of the important award, Yunus announced that he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor; while the rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh.[22]

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was a vocal advocate for the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Muhammed Yunus. He expressed this in Rolling Stone magazine[23] as well as in his autobiography My Life.[24] In a speech given at University of California, Berkeley in 2002, President Clinton described Dr. Yunus as "a man who long ago should have won the Nobel Prize [and] I’ll keep saying that until they finally give it to him."[25] Conversely, The Economist stated explicitly that Yunus was a poor choice for the award, stating: "...the Nobel committee could have made a braver, more difficult, choice by declaring that there would be no recipient at all." [26]

Muhammad Yunus at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He has won a number of other awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009,[27] the King Abdul Aziz medal in 2007,[28] the Ramon Magsaysay Award,[29] the World Food Prize,[30] the Sydney Peace Prize,[31] and in December 2007 the Ecuadorian Peace Prize.[32] Additionally, Dr. Yunus has been awarded 26 honorary doctorate degrees, and 15 special awards.[33] Bangladesh government brought out a commemorative stamp to honor his Nobel Award.[34] In January 2008, Houston, Texas declared 14 January as "Muhammad Yunus Day".[35] He was invited and gave the MIT commencement address delivered on 6 June 2008,[36] and Oxford's Romanes Lecture on 2 December 2008.[37] He received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service from the Eisenhower Fellowships at a ceremony in Philadelphia on 21 May 2009. He was also voted 2nd in Prospect Magazine's 2008 global poll of the world's top 100 intellectuals.[38]

Yunus was named among the most desired thinkers the world should listen to by the FP 100 (world's most influential elite) in the December 2009 issue of Foreign Policy magazine. [39] On March 1st, 2010, Yunus was awarded the prestigious Presidential Award from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). This is the highest honor available from the University.

Political activity

Muhammad Yunus at a book signing at the London School of Economics with a masters student.

In early 2006 Yunus, along with other members of the civil society including Professor Rehman Sobhan, Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, Dr Kamal Hossain, Matiur Rahman, Mahfuz Anam and Debapriya Bhattchariya, participated in a campaign for honest and clean candidates in national elections.[40] He considered entering politics in the later part of that year.[41] On 11 February 2007, Yunus wrote an open letter, published in the Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star, where he asked citizens for views on his plan to float a political party to establish political goodwill, proper leadership and good governance. In the letter, he called on everyone to briefly outline how he should go about the task and how they can contribute to it.[42] Yunus finally announced the foundation of a new party tentatively called Citizens' Power (Nagorik Shakti) on 18 February 2007.[43][44] There was speculation that the army supported a move by Yunus into politics.[45] On 3 May, however, Yunus declared that he had decided to abandon his political plans following a meeting with the head of the interim government, Fakhruddin Ahmed.[46].

On 18 July 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, and Desmond Tutu convened a group of world leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity together to the world. Nelson Mandela announced the formation of this new group, The Global Elders, in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday.[47][48] Archbishop Tutu is to serve as the Chair of The Elders. The founding members of this group include Machel, Yunus, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, and Mary Robinson. The Elders are to be independently funded by a group of Founders, including Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel, Ray Chambers; Michael Chambers; Bridgeway Foundation; Pam Omidyar, Humanity United; Amy Robbins; Shashi Ruia, Dick Tarlow; and The United Nations Foundation. Yunus is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), an independent authority on Africa launched in April 2007 to focus world leaders’ attention on delivering their commitments to the continent. The Panel launched a major report in London on Monday 16 June 2008 entitled Africa's Development: Promises and Prospects[49].

Family

In 1967 while Yunus attended Vanderbilt University, he met Vera Forostenko, a student of Russian literature at Vanderbilt University and daughter of Russian immigrants to Trenton, New Jersey, U.S. They were married in 1970.[5][8] Yunus's marriage with Vera ended within months of the birth of their baby girl, Monica Yunus (b. 1979 Chittagong), as Vera returned to New Jersey claiming that Bangladesh was not a good place to raise a baby.[5][8] Yunus later married Afrozi Yunus, who was then a researcher in physics at Manchester University.[8] She was later appointed as a professor of physics at Jahangirnagar University. Their daughter Deena Afroz Yunus was born in 1986.[8]

His brothers are also active in academia. His brother Muhammad Ibrahim is a professor of physics at Dhaka University and the founder of The Center for Mass Education in Science (CMES), which brings science education to adolescent girls in villages.[50] His younger brother Muhammad Jahangir is a popular television presenter and a well known social activist in Bangladesh. He is also the moderator of several Talk show programmes in Bangladesh. Monica, the elder daughter of Yunus, is a Bangladeshi-Russian American soprano singer, working in New York City.[51]

Publications

Books by Muhammad Yunus
  • Three Farmers of Jobra; Department of Economics, Chittagong University; 1974
  • Planning in Bangladesh: Format, Technique, and Priority, and Other Essays; Rural Studies Project, Department of Economics, Chittagong University; 1976
  • Jorimon and Others: Faces of Poverty (co-authors: Saiyada Manajurula Isalama, Arifa Rahman); Grameen Bank; 1991
  • Grameen Bank, as I See it; Grameen Bank; 1994
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty; Public Affairs; 2003; ISBN 9781586481988
  • A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism; Public Affairs; 2008; ISBN 9781586484934
Articles by Muhammed Yunus
On Muhammad Yunus
  • David Bornstein; The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank and the Idea That Is; Simon & Schuster; 1996; ISBN 068481191X

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006". NobelPrize.org. 2006-10-13. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2006/press.html. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  2. ^ United Nations Foundation, additional text.
  3. ^ "About Dr. Yunus :: Family". MuhammadYunus.ORG. http://muhammadyunus.org/content/view/19/34/lang,en/. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  4. ^ a b c First loan he gave was $27 from own pocket, The Daily Star, 2006-10-14, Front page, Retrieved: 2007-08-22
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mhammad Yunus: The triumph of idealism, New Age Special, The New Age, 2007-01-01; Retrieved: 2007-09-11
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Yunus, Muhammad. Printed interview in Bengali with Rahman, Matiur. The daily Prothom Alo. Dhaka. October 14, 2003. (Interview). Retrieved on 2006-10-14.
  7. ^ Yunus to receive Nichols-Chancellor's Medal, Vanderbilt News, 2007-03-12; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  8. ^ a b c d e Yunus, Muhammad; Jolis, Alan. Banker to the Poor: micro-lending and the battle against world poverty. New York: PublicAffairs hc. pp. 20–29. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8. 
  9. ^ a b "Ramon Magsaysay Award Citation". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. 1984. http://www.guzelsozler.web.tr/son-eklenen/6-yatakta-sevisme.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  10. ^ BANGLADESH: Country of Origin Information Report, Country of Origin Information Service, Border & Immigration Agency, 2007-06-15; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  11. ^ a b Yousaf, Nasim (2006-10-17). "7th Death Anniversary – A Tribute to Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan". Statesman. http://www.akhtar-hameed-khan.8m.com/statesman-10-20-06.html. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  12. ^ Yunus, Muhammad; Jolis, Alan. Banker to the Poor: micro-lending and the battle against world poverty. New York: PublicAffairs hc. pp. 46–49. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8. 
  13. ^ "Profile: 'World banker to the poor'". BBC NEWS. 2006-10-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6047234.stm. Retrieved 2006-10-16. 
  14. ^ GB at a glance, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Info;Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  15. ^ a b Introduction, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Family; Retrieved: 2007-09-07
  16. ^ "Grameen Fund ventures on Grameen official website". Grameen-info.org. http://www.grameen-info.org/grameen/gfund/venture.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  17. ^ "About Grameenphone". Grameenphone. 2006-11-16. http://www.grameenphone.com/index.php?id=64. Retrieved 2007-08-22. "Grameenphone is now the leading telecommunications service provider in the country with more than 10 million subscribers as of November 2006." 
  18. ^ "Village Phone". About Grameenphone. Grameenphone. 2006. http://www.grameenphone.com/index.php?id=64. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  19. ^ Grameen Bank, a Nobel-winning concept, The Hindu, 2006-10-23;Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  20. ^ Yunus, Muhammad. Transcript of broadcast interview with Negus, George. World in Focus: Interview with Prof. Muhammad Yunus. Foreign Correspondent; ABC online. 1997-03-25. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
  21. ^ "Muhammad Yunus, Ashoka's Global Academy Member, Wins Nobel Peace Prize". Ashoka.org. 2006-10-13. http://www.ashoka.org/node/3798. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  22. ^ "Yunus wins peace Nobel for anti-poverty efforts". Associated Press. 2006-10-13. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15246216/. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  23. ^ Boulden, Jim (2001-03-29). "The birth of micro credit". Europe/Business (CNN). http://edition.cnn.com/BUSINESS/programs/yourbusiness/stories2001/lending/. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  24. ^ Clinton, Bill (2004). My Life: The Presidential Years. New York, Knopf.: Vintage Books. p. 329. ISBN 0375414576. "Muhammad Yunus should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics years ago." 
  25. ^ Ainsworth, Diane (2002-01-29). "Transcript of the Jan. 29, 2002 talk by former President Bill Clinton at the University of California, Berkeley". Clinton: education, economic development key to building a peaceful, global village. UC Regents. http://www.berkeley.edu/news/features/2002/clinton/clinton-transcript.html. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  26. ^ "Losing Its Lustre". Economist. http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RDQVDGJ. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  27. ^ "President Obama Names Medal of Freedom Recipients", White House Office of the Press Secretary, July 30, 2009
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1984: Citation for Muhammad Yunus; Retrieved: 2007-09-01
  30. ^ "Dr. Muhammad Yunus - 1994 World Food Prize Laureate". WorldFoodPrize.org. http://www.worldfoodprize.org/laureates/Past/1994.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  31. ^ Lauret 2006, Seoul Peace Prize website; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  32. ^ Mothibedi/2007/12/joy_e_stocke_and_angie.html, Wild River Review Coverage; Retrieved: 2007-12-03
  33. ^ Lists of his awards are found at Grameen Bank website, [www.guzelsozler.web.tr/son-eklenen/6-yatakta-sevisme.html his personal website], and his profile at Bangladesh News website.
  34. ^ Sydney Peace Prize recipients, Sydney Peace Prize Foundation website; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  35. ^ Staff Correspondent, Houston mayor declares Jan 14 "Yunus Day", 2008-01-16; Retrieved: 2008-01-16
  36. ^ "Yunus Speaks About Capitalism, Poverty, and the Future of ‘Social Business’" - The Tech, Volume 128, Issue 28 : Friday, 13 June 2008
  37. ^ [2]
  38. ^ Prospect Magazine Home Page http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/
  39. ^ 2009-11-30. "The Wisdom of the Smart Crowd", Foreign Policy.com Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  40. ^ "Parliament with honest, efficient must for development". The New Nation. 2006-03-21. http://www.cpd-bangladesh.org/media/press_N17.html. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  41. ^ "Yunus not willing to be caretaker chief". The Daily Star. 2006-10-18. Vol 5 Num 853. http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/10/18/d6101801022.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  42. ^ "Yunus seeks people's views on floating political party". The Daily Star. 2007-02-12. Vol 5 Num 961. http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/02/12/d7021201011.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  43. ^ Siddique, Islam (2007-02-18). "Bangladesh Nobel Laureate Announces His Political Party's Name". AHN. 7006502326. http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006502326. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  44. ^ "'I will do politics of unity': Yunus names his party Nagorik Shakti". The New Nation. 2007-02-12. 34138. http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/publish/article_34138.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  45. ^ Mustafa, Sabir (2007-04-05). "Bangladesh at a crossroads". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6530781.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "At first glance, the current state of Bangladesh appears to be a paradox : a country under a state of emergency, but where the general public seem quite content." 
  46. ^ "Yunus drops plans to enter politics". Al Jazeera. 2007-02-18. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/E6E2375D-C914-49CC-9356-09D72BA2E02A.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  47. ^ "Mandela unveils 'council of elders'". Al Jazeera. 2007-07-19. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/59C0C017-4A63-4F97-9D91-D1A336A2B83A.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  48. ^ "Mandela joins ‘Elders’ on turning 89". Associated Press. MSNBC. 2007-07-20. 19836050. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19836050. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  49. ^ APP, Press Release: Africa Progress Panel demands action on global food crisis “reversing decades of economic progress”, 16 June 2008, http://www.africaprogresspanel.org/english/newsreleases.php
  50. ^ Center for Mass Education in Science (CMES) - Bangladesh, Human Resource Development Recommendations, International Labour Organization; Retrieved: 2007-08-27
  51. ^ "Monica Yunus, Soprano" (asp). Biography. VoxPagel.com. http://www.monicayunus.com/newsite/biography.asp. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 

External links

Videos

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
He Kang
World Food Prize
1994
Succeeded by
Hans R. Herren
Preceded by
Mohamed ElBaradei
and
International Atomic
Energy Agency
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
with Grameen Bank

2006
Succeeded by
Al Gore
and
Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

One day our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like.

Professor Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস Muhammod Iunus) (born June 28 1940), is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. He is the developer and founder of the concept of microcredit. In 2006, Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sourced

  • If you are born into a poor family, if you are a woman you have seen the worst of poverty. In a cultural way in the families in Bangladesh it's the women who eats last. So if you have a scarcity in the family ... she misses out so everything comes in the raw deal for her. So , given a chance she works very hard to make a change to improve her life. And by training she is the most efficient manager of scarce resources. Because with the little resource she has, she has to stretch it as much as she can to look after the children, look after the family and everything else..unlike men - men want to enjoy right away. Whatever he got, whatever tiny bit of thing he got he doesn't care for much what's coming up.
    • "Interview with Prof. Muhammad Yunus" Australian Broadcasting Corporation (25 March 1997)
  • 'I believe that "government", as we know it today, should pull out of most things except for law enforcement and justice, national defense and foreign policy, and let the private sector, a "Grameenized private sector", a social-consciousness-driven private sector, take over their other functions.'
    • Autobiography : Banker to the Poor (2001)
  • To me poor people are like bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a flower-pot, you get a replica of the tallest tree, only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted, only the soil-base that is too inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong in their seeds. Simply, society never gave them the base to grow on. All it needs to get the poor people out of poverty for us to create an enabling environment for them. Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly.
    • Creating a World without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (2007)
  • Poor people always pay back their loans. It's us, the creators of institutions and rules, who keep creating trouble for them.
    • Grameen Bank II: Designed to Open New Possibilities (2002)
  • Poverty has been created by the economic and social system that we have designed for the world. It is the institutions that we have built, and feel so proud of, which created poverty.them.
    • "Eliminating Poverty Through Market-Based Social Entrepreneurship" in Global Urban Development Magazine (May 2005)
  • I will not spend the money for myself. I will rather spend it in special business on a no-profit-no-loss policy. We will also establish an eye hospital where even beggars will be given treatment at the cost of Taka 10-20.
    • The Daily Star (14 October 2006)
  • We will make yogurt with all kinds of nutritious elements. We want to provide nutrition to the poor and children.
    • The Daily Star (14 October 2006)
  • All human beings have an innate skill — survival skill. The fact that poor are still alive is a proof of their ability to survive. We do not need to teach them how to survive. They know this already.

External links

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Simple English

মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস
Muhammad Yunus
File:Muhammad Yunus
Born June 28, 1940 (1940-06-28) (age 70)
Chittagong, British India, now Bangladesh
Residence Bangladesh
Nationality Bangladeshi
Religion Islam
Spouse Afrozi Yunus
Children 2

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker and economist who was born on June 28 1940. He was a professor of economics and is famous for his work in microcredit. Microcredit is a name for giving small loans. These loans are given to people with very little money. Most banks do not give microcredit. Yunus started the Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus and the bank together, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."[1] Yunus himself has received several other national and international awards. He published a book called Banker to the Poor and helped start the Grameen Foundation. In 2007 Yunus planned to start a political group called Nagorik Shakti ("Citizen Power") in Bangladesh, but he has chosen not to start this group. He is one of the founding members of Global Elders.

Contents

Early life

, while visiting the school in 2003.]] Muhammad Yunus born on June 28 1940. He was the third child born to a Muslim family in the village of Bathua near the Boxihrat Road in Hathazari, Bangladesh (Bangladesh was called British India at that time). Six more children were born in Muhammads family making nine altogether.[2][3] His father was called Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar, and worked as a jeweler. His mother was called Sofia Khatun. His early childhood years were spent in his village. In 1944, his family moved to the city of Chittagong, and he went to Lamabazar Primary School.[2][4] By 1949, his mother had a mental illness.[3] Muhannad went to Chittagong Collegiate School and became the 16th best student out of 39,000 in East Pakistan.[4] During his school years, he was a Boy Scout, and traveled to West Pakistan and India in 1952, and to Canada in 1955 to attend Jamborees.[4] When Yunus was studying at Chittagong College, he won awards for drama acting.[4] In 1957, he started studying at the department of economics of Dhaka University. Chittagong College awarded him with a BA in 1960, and a MA in 1961.

After his MA studies, Yunus became part of the Bureau of Economics as a research assistant for Professor Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan.[4] In 1961 he was given work as a lecturer in economics in Chittagong College.[4] During that time he started a pakaging|packaging factory]].[3] He was given a Fulbright scholarship in 1965, to study in the United States. He was awarded his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States, in 1969.[5] From 1969 to 1972, Yunus was an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN.

During the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, Yunus and other people from Bangladesh living in the United States started a citizens committee and controlled the Bangladesh Information Center to find help for the war.[4] He published the Bangladesh Newsletter from his home in Nashville. After the War, Yunus returned to Bangladesh and was given a job with the governments' Planning Commission which was controlled by Nurul Islam. He thought the job was boring so he took a job at Chittagong University as Head of the Economics department.[6] He worked with poverty reduction after he saw the Bangladesh famine of 1974, and started a research project to help people who lived in the countryside. In 1975, he starteded a Nabajug Tebhaga Khamar (new era three share farm) which the government called the Packaged Input Programme.[4] Yunus and his friends started the Gram Sarkar (the village government) programme to make the farm project better.[7] Ziaur Rahman,(the president of India in the late 1970s), was in control of starting 40,392 village governments (gram sarkar) in 2003. On 2 August 2005, after a petition by the Bangladesh Legal Aids and Services Trust (BLAST) the High Court had declared Gram Sarkar illegal and unconstitutional.[8]

Grameen Bank

]]

In 1976, Yunus visited the poorest households in the village of Jobra near Chittagong University. He discovered that very small loans could be a lot of help to a poor person. Some Jobra women were making bamboo furniture and had to take loans for buying bamboo but all their profits were being paid towards the loans. The first loan Muhammad Yunus gave was USD 27.00 from his pocket. This $27 was loaned to 42 women in the village, who made a profit of $00.02 each from the loan[2]

In December 1976 the government bank Janata Bank gave Yunus a loan that he could use to make lots of small loans to very poor people. His group got more loans from other banks and by 1982, 28,000 people had jobs with Grameen. On October 1 1983, Grameen was made a full bank and renamed the Grameen Bank (Village Bank) to give loans to poor Bangladeshis. Yunus and his workers were threatened and women were told they would not have a Muslim burial if they borrowed money from the Grameen Bank, but they have given many, many loans to poor people.[3] As of July 2007, Grameen Bank has loaned US$6.38 billion to 7.4 million people.[9] The bank loans money to "solidarity groups". These small groups are given loans together and if one person can not pay, the rest of the group pays for them.[7]

The Grameen Bank started other groups in the 1980s to do things such as keeping fishing ponds clean and building irrigation pumps.[10] In 1989, these groups started to get their own names. The fisheries project became Grameen Motsho (Grameen Fisheries Foundation) and the irrigation project became Grameen Krishi (Grameen Agriculture Foundation).[10] The Grameen group has grown into many groups of profitable and non-profit, such as the Grameen Trust, the Grameen Fund, Grameen Software Limited, Grameen CyberNet Limited, Grameen Knitwear Limited,[11] Grameen Telecom, and Grameenphone (GP) (Grameenphone is the biggest private sector phone company in Bangladesh).[12]. The Village Phone (Polli Phone) project of Grameenphone has made it possible for 260,000 poor people in over 50,000 villages to own mobile phones since March 1997.[13]

The Grameen ideas have been used in many countries throughout the world, such as the United States.[14]More than 94% of Grameen loans have been given to women, who have less money and give more to their families.[15] For his work with the Grameen Bank, Yunus was named an Ashoka: Innovators for the Public Global Academy Member in 2001.[16]

Awards

Muhammad Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Grameen Bank, for their efforts to create economic and social developments. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said:[1]

Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.

Muhammad Yunus was the first Bangladeshi and third Bengali to ever get a Nobel Prize. After being told of the important award, Yunus said that he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company that makes good food that the poor can afford and the rest would go toward starting an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh.[17]

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was on of the people who said the Nobel Prize should go to Muhammed Yunus. He said this in Rolling Stone magazine[18] and in his autobiography: My Life.[19] In a speech given at University of California, Berkeley in 2002, President Clinton said Dr. Yunus was "a man who long ago should have won the Nobel Prize [and] I’ll keep saying that until they finally give it to him."[20]

He has won many other awards, such as the Ramon Magsaysay Award,[21] the World Food Prize[22] the Sydney Peace Prize, [23] and in December 2007 the Ecuadorian Peace Prize [24]. Dr. Yunus has been awarded 26 honorary doctorate degrees, and 15 special awards.[25] The Bangladesh government made a postage stamp to honor his Nobel Award.[26] In January 2008, Houston, Texas declared January 14 as "Muhammad Yunus Day".[27]

Politics

In 2006 Doctor Yunus and other important people, such as Professor Rehman Sobhan, Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, Doctor Kamal Hossain, Matiur Rahman, Mahfuz Anam and Debapriya Bhattchariya, tried to find good people to be elected for government.[28] Yunus thought about joining government himself that year.[29] On February 11, 2007, Yunus wrote a letter, published in the Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star, and he asked what people thought of creating a good government. The letter asked everyone to give ideas for this and to offer him help[30] Dr. Yunus started a political group called Citizens' Power (Nagorik Shakti) on February 18, 2007.[31][32] There was speculation that the army supported a move by Yunus into politics.[33] but on May 3, Yunus stopped the group after a meeting with Fakhruddin Ahmed (government politician).[34]

On July 18 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, and Desmond Tutu began a group of world leaders to help the world. Nelson Mandela announced this new group, The Global Elders, in a speech he on his 89th birthday.[35][36] Archbishop Tutu is to serve as the Chair of The Elders. Yunus is one of the first members of this group. Other members include Machel, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, and Mary Robinson. The Elders are to be funded by some of ts first members, such as Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel, Ray Chambers, Michael Chambers, Bridgeway Foundation, Pam Omidyar, Humanity United, Amy Robbins, Shashi Ruia, Dick Tarlow, and The United Nations Foundation.

Professor Yunus Family

In 1967 Yunus studied at Vanderbilt University. He met Vera Forostenko, a student of Russian literature there. Vera is the daughter of Russian immigrants to Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.. They were married in 1970.[6][3] Yunus marriage with Vera ended a few months after the birth of their baby girl, Monica Yunus (b. 1979 Chittagong). Vera returned to New Jersey and said that Bangladesh was not a good place to raise a baby.[6][3] After some time, Yunus married Afrozi Yunus, who was a researcher in physics at Manchester University.[6] She was appointed as a professor of physics at Jahangirnagar University. Their daughter Deena Afroz Yunus was born in 1986.[6]

Professor Yunus brother Muhammad Ibrahim is a professor of physics at Dhaka University and the founder of The Center for Mass Education in Science (CMES). They teach science to girls in villages.[37] His younger brother Muhammad Jahangir is a popular television presenter. Yunus oldest daughter, Monica, is an soprano singer in New York City.[38]

Books

By Muhammad Yunus
  • Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (Co-author: Karl Weber); Public Affairs; 2008; ISBN 1586484931
  • Banker to the Poor: The Autobiography of Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen (Co-author: Alan Jolis); Oxford University Press; 2001; ISBN 0195795377
  • Grameen Bank, as I See it; Grameen Bank; 1994
  • Jorimon and Others: Faces of Poverty (co-authors: Saiyada Manajurula Isalama, Arifa Rahman); Grameen Bank; 1991
  • Planning in Bangladesh: Format, Technique, and Priority, and Other Essays; Rural Studies Project, Department of Economics, Chittagong University; 1976
  • Three Farmers of Jobra; Department of Economics, Chittagong University; 1974
On Muhammad Yunus
  • David Bornstein; The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank and the Idea That Is; Simon & Schuster; 1996; ISBN 068481191X

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006". NobelPrize.org. 2006-10-13. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2006/press.html. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 First loan he gave was $27 from own pocket, The Daily Star, 2006-10-14, Front page, Retrieved: 2007-08-22
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Mhammad Yunus: The triumph of idealism, New Age Special, The New Age, 2007-01-01; Retrieved: 2007-09-11
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 [ http://www.prothom-alo.org/archive/news_details_mcat.php?dt=2006-10-14&issue_id=48&cat_id=4&nid=NzUxOA==&mid=NA== | program = The daily Prothom Alo | city = Dhaka | date = 14 | year = 2003 ]
  5. Yunus to receive Nichols-Chancellor's Medal, Vanderbilt News, 2007-03-12; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Yunus, Muhammad; Jolis, Alan (in English). Banker to the Poor: micro-lending and the battle against world poverty. New York: PublicAffairs hc. pp. 20-29. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Ramon Magsaysay Award Citation". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. 1984. http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Citation/CitationYunusMuh.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  8. BANGLADESH: Country of Origin Information Report, Country of Origin Information Service, Border & Immigration Agency, 2007-06-15; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  9. GB at a glance, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Info;Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  10. 10.0 10.1 Introduction, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Family; Retrieved: 2007-09-07
  11. Grameen Fund ventures on Grameen official website
  12. "About Grameenphone" (in English). Grameenphone. 2006-11-16. http://www.grameenphone.com/index.php?id=64. Retrieved 2007-08-22. "Grameenphone is now the leading telecommunications service provider in the country with more than 10 million subscribers as of November 2006." 
  13. "Village Phone" (in English). About Grameenphone. Grameenphone. 2006. http://www.grameenphone.com/index.php?id=64. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  14. Grameen Bank, a Nobel-winning concept, The Hindu, 2006-10-23;Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  15. Yunus, Muhammad. Transcript of broadcast interview with Negus, George. World in Focus: Interview with Prof. Muhammad Yunus. Foreign Correspondent; ABC online. 1997-03-25. Assessed on 2007-08-22.
  16. [1]
  17. "Yunus wins peace Nobel for anti-poverty efforts" (in English). AP. 2006-10-13. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15246216/. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  18. Boulden, Jim (2001-03-29). "The birth of micro credit" (in English). Europe/Business (CNN). http://edition.cnn.com/BUSINESS/programs/yourbusiness/stories2001/lending/. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  19. Clinton, Bill (2004) (in English). My Life: The Presidential Years. New York, Knopf.: Vintage Books. pp. p. 329. ISBN 0375414576. "Muhammad Yunus should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics years ago." 
  20. Ainsworth, Diane (2002-01-29). "Transcript of the Jan. 29, 2002 talk by former President Bill Clinton at the University of California, Berkeley" (in English). Clinton: education, economic development key to building a peaceful, global village. UC Regents. http://www.berkeley.edu/news/features/2002/clinton/clinton-transcript.html. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  21. Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1984: Citation for Muhammad Yunus; Retrieved: 2007-09-01
  22. "Dr. Muhammad Yunus - 1994 World Food Prize Laureate" (in English). WorldFoodPrize.org. http://www.worldfoodprize.org/laureates/Past/1994.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  23. Lauret 2006, Seoul Peace Prize website; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  24. [2], Wild River Review Coverage; Retrieved: 2007-12-03
  25. Lists of his awards are found at Grameen Bank website, his personal website, and his profile at Bangladesh News website.
  26. Sydney Peace Prize recipients, Sydney Peace Prize Foundation website; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
  27. Staff Correspondent, Houston mayor declares Jan 14 "Yunus Day", 2008-01-16; Retrieved: 2008-01-16
  28. "Parliament with honest, efficient must for development". The New Nation. 2006-03-21. http://www.cpd-bangladesh.org/media/press_N17.html. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  29. "Yunus not willing to be caretaker chief" (in English). The Daily Star. 2006-10-18. Vol 5 Num 853. http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/10/18/d6101801022.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  30. "Yunus seeks people's views on floating political party" (in English). The Daily Star. 2007-02-12. Vol 5 Num 961. http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/02/12/d7021201011.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  31. Siddique, Islam (2007-02-18). "Bangladesh Nobel Laureate Announces His Political Party's Name" (in English). AHN. 7006502326. http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006502326. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  32. "'I will do politics of unity': Yunus names his party Nagorik Shakti" (in English). The New Nation. 2007-02-12. 34138. http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/publish/article_34138.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  33. Mustafa, Sabir (2007-04-05). "Bangladesh at a crossroads" (in English). BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6530781.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "At first glance, the current state of Bangladesh appears to be a paradox : a country under a state of emergency, but where the general public seem quite content." 
  34. "Yunus drops plans to enter politics" (in English). Al Jazeera. 2007-02-18. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/E6E2375D-C914-49CC-9356-09D72BA2E02A.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  35. "Mandela unveils 'council of elders'" (in English). Al Jazeera. 2007-07-19. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/59C0C017-4A63-4F97-9D91-D1A336A2B83A.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  36. Associated Press (2007-07-20). "Mandela joins ‘Elders’ on turning 89" (in English). MSNBC. 19836050. 
  37. Center for Mass Education in Science (CMES) - Bangladesh, Human Resource Development Recommendations, International Labour Organization; Retrieved: 2007-08-27
  38. "Monica Yunus, Soprano" (in English) (asp). Biography. VoxPagel.com. http://www.monicayunus.com/newsite/biography.asp. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 

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Preceded by
He Kang
World Food Prize
1994
Succeeded by
Hans R. Herren


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