Muhammad Yunus



Muhammad Yunus (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস, pronounced Muhammôd Iunus) (born June 28 1940) is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. A former professor of economics, he is famous for his successful application of the concept of microcredit, the extension of small loans 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 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.

Early years

The eldest of nine children, Yunus was born in June 28 1940 to a Muslim family in the village of Bathua, by the Boxirhat Road in Hathazari, Chittagong, then in British India (now in Bangladesh).[2][3] His father was Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar, a jeweler, and his mother was Sofia 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.[2][4] By 1949, his mother was afflicted with psychological illness.[3] Later, he passed the matriculation examination from Chittagong Collegiate School securing the 16th position among 39,000 students in East Pakistan.[4] During his school years, he was an active Boy Scout, and traveled to West Pakistan and India in 1952, and to Canada in 1955 as part of to attend Jamborees.[4] Later when Yunus was studying at Chittagong College, he became active in cultural activities and won awards for drama acting.[4] In 1957, he enrolled in the department of economics at Dhaka University and completed his BA in 1960 and MA in 1961.

Following his graduation, Yunus joined the Bureau of Economics as a research assistant to the economical researches of Professor Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan.[4] Later he was appointed as a lecturer in economics in Chittagong College in 1961.[4] During that time he also set up a profitable packaging factory on the side.[3] 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 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 founded a citizen's committee and ran the Bangladesh Information Center, with other Bangladeshis living in the United States, to raise support for liberation.[4]. 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.[6] 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.[4] In order to make the project more effective, Yunus and his associates proposed the Gram Sarkar (the village government) programme.[7] 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.[8]

Grameen Bank

Enlarge picture
Grameen Bank Head Office at Mirpur-2, Dhaka
Main article: Grameen Bank
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 furnitures 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[2]

The concept of providing credit to the poor as a tool of poverty reduction was not unique. Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, founder of Pakistan Academy for Rural Development (now Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development), is credited for pioneering the idea.[9] However, from his experience at Jobra Yunus, an admirer of Dr. Hamid<ref name= "Hamid" />, realized that an institution is needed to be created to lend to those who had nothing.[10] While, traditional banks were not interested in making tiny loans at reasonable interest rates to poor people, because of high repayment risks[11], 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 October 1 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.[3] As of July 2007, Grameen Bank has issued US$ 6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers.[12] 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.[7]

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.[13] 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).[13] 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,[14] as well as Grameen Telecom, shich has a stake in Grameenphone (GP), biggest private sector phone company in Bangladesh.[15]. 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.[16]

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.[17] Many, but not all, microcredit projects also retain its emphasis on lending specifically to women. More than 96% 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.[18] For his work with the Grameen Bank, Yunus was named an Global Academy Member in 2001.[19]

Further information: Grameen family of organizations

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 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.[20]

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[21] as well as in his autobiography My Life.[22] 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."[23]

He has won a number of other awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award,[24] the World Food Prize[25] and the Sydney Peace Prize.[26] Additionally, Dr. Yunus has been awarded 26 honorary doctorate degrees, and 15 special awards.[27] Bangladesh government brought out a commemorative stamp to honor his Nobel Award.[28]

Political activity

In early 2006 he, along with other members of the civil society including Prof 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.[29] He considered entering politics in later part of that year.[30] On February 11, 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.[31] Yunus finally announced the foundation of a new party tentatively called Citizens' Power (Nagorik Shakti) on February 18, 2007.[32][33] There was speculation that the army supported a move by Yunus into politics.[34] On May 3, however, Yunus declared that he had decided to abandon his political plans following a meeting with the head of the interim government, Fakhruddin Ahmed.[35]

On July 18 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.[36][37] Archbishop Tutu is to serve as the Chair of The Elders. The founding members of this group include Machel, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson and Yunus. 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.

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.[6][3] 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.[6][3] Yunus later married Afrozi Yunus, who was then a researcher in physics at Manchester University.[6] She was later appointed as a professor of physics at Jahangirnagar University. Their daughter Deena Afroz Yunus was born in 1986.<ref name="B2P" />

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.[38] His younger brother Muhammad Jahangir is a popular television presenter. Monica, the eldest daughter of Yunus, is a Bangladeshi-Russian American soprano singer, working in New York City.[39]

References

1. ^ The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006. NobelPrize.org (2006-10-13). Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
2. ^ First loan he gave was $27 from own pocket, The Daily Star, 2006-10-14, Front page, Retrieved: 2007-08-22
3. ^ Mhammad Yunus: The triumph of idealism, New Age Special, The New Age, 2007-01-01; Retrieved: 2007-09-11
4. ^ Error on call to : Parameter subject (or last) must be specified Retrieved on 2006-10-14.
5. ^ Yunus to receive Nichols-Chancellor's Medal, Vanderbilt News, 2007-03-12; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
6. ^ Yunus, Muhammad; Jolis, Alan [2003-09-25]. Banker to the Poor: micro-lending and the battle against world poverty (in English). New York: PublicAffairs hc, 20-29. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8. 
7. ^ Ramon Magsaysay Award Citation. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (1984). Retrieved on 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. ^ Yousaf, Nasim (2006-10-17). 7th Death Anniversary – A Tribute to Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan (English). Statesman. Retrieved on 2007-08-20.
10. ^ Yunus, Muhammad; Jolis, Alan [2003-09-25]. Banker to the Poor: micro-lending and the battle against world poverty (in English). New York: PublicAffairs hc, 46-49. ISBN 978-1-58648-198-8. 
11. ^ "Profile: 'World banker to the poor'", BBC NEWS, 2006-10-13. Retrieved on 2006-10-16. (English) 
12. ^ , Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Info;Retrieved: 2007-09-09
13. ^ Introduction, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Family; Retrieved: 2007-09-07
14. ^ Grameen Fund ventures on Grameen official website
15. ^ About Grameenphone (English). Grameenphone (2006-11-16). Retrieved on 2007-08-22. “Grameenphone is now the leading telecommunications service provider in the country with more than 10 million subscribers as of November 2006.
16. ^ Village Phone (English). About Grameenphone. Grameenphone (2006). Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
17. ^ Grameen Bank, a Nobel-winning concept, The Hindu, 2006-10-23;Retrieved: 2007-09-09
18. ^ Error on call to : Parameter subject (or last) must be specified Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
19. ^ Muhammad Yunus, Ashoka's Global Academy Member, Wins Nobel Peace Prize (English). Ashoka.org (2006-10-13). Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
20. ^ "Yunus wins peace Nobel for anti-poverty efforts", AP, 2006-10-13. Retrieved on 2007-08-16. (English) 
21. ^ Boulden, Jim. "The birth of micro credit", Europe/Business, CNN, 2001-03-29. Retrieved on 2007-08-19. (English) 
22. ^ Clinton, Bill (2004). My Life: The Presidential Years (in English). New York, Knopf.: Vintage Books, p. 329. ISBN 0375414576. “Muhammad Yunus should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics years ago. 
23. ^ Ainsworth, Diane (2002-01-29). Transcript of the Jan. 29, 2002 talk by former President Bill Clinton at the University of California, Berkeley (English). Clinton: education, economic development key to building a peaceful, global village. UC Regents. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
24. ^ Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1984: Citation for Muhammad Yunus; Retrieved: 2007-09-01
25. ^ Dr. Muhammad Yunus - 1994 World Food Prize Laureate (English). WorldFoodPrize.org. Retrieved on 2007-08-29.
26. ^ Lauret 2006, Seoul Peace Prize website; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
27. ^ Lists of his awards are found at Grameen Bank website, his personal website, and his profile at Bangladesh News website.
28. ^ Sydney Peace Prize recipients, Sydney Peace Prize Foundation website; Retrieved: 2007-09-09
29. ^ Parliament with honest, efficient must for development. The New Nation (2006-03-21). Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
30. ^ Staff Correspondent. "Yunus not willing to be caretaker chief", The Daily Star, 2006-10-18. Vol 5 Num 853. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. (English) 
31. ^ Staff Correspondent. "Yunus seeks people's views on floating political party", The Daily Star, 2007-02-12. Vol 5 Num 961. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. (English) 
32. ^ Siddique, Islam. "Bangladesh Nobel Laureate Announces His Political Party's Name", AHN, 2007-02-18. 7006502326. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. (English) 
33. ^ Staff Reporter. "'I will do politics of unity': Yunus names his party Nagorik Shakti", The New Nation, 2007-02-12. 34138. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. (English) 
34. ^ Mustafa, Sabir. "Bangladesh at a crossroads", BBC, 2007-04-05. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. (English) “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.BBC&rft.date=2007-04-05&rft.language=English"> 
35. ^ "Yunus drops plans to enter politics", Al Jazeera, 2007-02-18. Retrieved on 2007-08-18. (English) 
36. ^ "Mandela unveils 'council of elders'", Al Jazeera, 2007-07-19. Retrieved on 2007-08-24. (English) 
37. ^ Associated Press. "Mandela joins ‘Elders’ on turning 89", MSNBC, 2007-07-20. 19836050. Retrieved on 2007-08-24. (English)MSNBC&rft.date=2007-07-20&rft.language=English"> 
38. ^ Center for Mass Education in Science (CMES) - Bangladesh, Human Resource Development Recommendations, International Labour Organization; Retrieved: 2007-08-27
39. ^ Monica Yunus, Soprano (asp) (English). Biography. VoxPagel.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.


See also

External links

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Persondata
NAMEYunus, Muhammad
ALTERNATIVE NAMESইউনূস, মুহাম্মদ (Bengali)
SHORT DESCRIPTIONBangladeshi banker, economist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize -
DATE OF BIRTHJune 28, 1940
PLACE OF BIRTHChittagong, British India
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH


Persondata
NAMEYunus, Muhammad
ALTERNATIVE NAMESইউনূস, মুহাম্মদ (Bengali)
SHORT DESCRIPTIONBangladeshi banker, economist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
DATE OF BIRTHJune 28, 1940
PLACE OF BIRTHChittagong, British India
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH


Persondata
NAMEYunus, Muhammad
ALTERNATIVE NAMESIunus, Muhammod (alternate transliteration); মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস (Bengali)
SHORT DESCRIPTIONEconomist and banker
DATE OF BIRTHJune 28 1940
PLACE OF BIRTHChittagong, Bangladesh
DATE OF DEATHliving
PLACE OF DEATH
This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
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Bengali}}} 
Writing system: Bengali script 
Official status
Official language of:
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June 28 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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Anthem
Amar Shonar Bangla
My Golden Bengal


Capital
(and largest city) Dhaka

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bank is a commercial or state institution that provides financial services , including issuing money in various forms, receiving deposits of money, lending money and processing transactions and the creating of credit.
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economist is an expert in the social science of economics.[1] The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy.
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The meaning of the word professor (Latin: person who professes to be an expert in some art or science, teacher of highest rank[1]) varies. In most English-speaking countries, it refers to a senior academic who holds a departmental chair
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Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Greek for oikos (house) and nomos (custom or law), hence "rules of the house(hold).
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Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable.
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A loan is a type of debt. All material things can be lent but this article focuses exclusively on monetary loans. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the and the .
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An entrepreneur (a loanword from French introduced and first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon) is a person who operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks.
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bank is a commercial or state institution that provides financial services , including issuing money in various forms, receiving deposits of money, lending money and processing transactions and the creating of credit.
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Grameen Bank (GB)

Body Corporate (Bank Ordinance)
Founded 1983
Headquarters Dhaka, Bangladesh

Key people Muhammad Yunus, founder
Area served Bangladesh
Industry Finance
Products Financial Services
Microfinance
Revenue 4,746,095,835 M.
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Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.
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Banker to the Poor

Author Muhammad Yunus, Alan Jolis
Country Bangladesh
Language English
Subject(s) Economics, Poverty
Genre(s) Autobiography
Publisher PublicAffairs
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Grameen Foundation

Founder Alex Counts

Type 501(c)(3)
Founded 1997
Headquarters Washington, D.C., USA
Key people Alex Counts – President & CEO
Susan S.
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The Global Elders or The Elders is a group of public figures noted as elder statemen, peace activists, and human rights advocates. The goal of the group is to solve global problems, using "almost 1,000 years of collective experience" to work on solutions for seemingly
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June 28 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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Muslim (Arabic: مسلم) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. The feminine form of 'Muslim' is Muslimah (Arabic: مسلمة).
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Hathazari



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Chittagong District
Skyline of Chittagong City



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British Raj (rāj, lit. "rule" in Hindi) or British India, officially the British Indian Empire, and internationally and contemporaneously, India
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Chittagong
Skyline of Chittagong City
Nickname: Chottala
Location of Chittagong in Bangladesh
Coordinates:
Country Bangladesh
Administrative District
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The Chittagong Collegiate School is a notable secondary school in Chittagong, the southern port city in Bangladesh. Established in 1836, it is one of the oldest schools in the country.
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East Pakistan (now independent Bangladesh) was a former province of Pakistan which existed between 1955 and 1971. East Pakistan was partitioned from Bengal based on plebiscite in then British India in 1947.
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Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, so that they may play constructive roles in society.
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Jamboree may refer to:
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  • Jamboree, an annual concert held at Billy's Flea Market near Bassett, Virginia
  • Jamboree in the Hills, an annual four-day-long country music festival held in Morristown, Ohio

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