Muhammad Yunus

by Alexander from San Diego

Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus

"Poverty is not created by the poor, so I don't take the crass conventional view that they are lazy, don't have the skills, don't have the drive. It is not their fault. They are not the creators of poverty. Poverty is created by the system that we built. The poor have as much energy, as much creativity as any human being on this planet."(Muhammad Yunus)

Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus was born in Bathua, a Bengali Village in 1940. Yunus grew up with 6 brothers and sisters. He graduated from Dhaka University in 1961 and became an assistant professor of economics in Middle Tennessee State University. In 1972, he became a professor of economics at Chittagong University. As a Chittagong professor of economics, he planned fieldtrips, which sparked people’s willingness to help the millions of poor people. On one of his fateful trip, he visited the neighboring village of Jobra and met a woman, who made stools out of bamboo for 2 cents. The person she was borrowing money from, forced her to spend 20 extra cents to make each stool, leaving her in debt. Seeing this atrocity, Dr. Yunus started give out pocket-sized loans to these people to help them get out of debt so they could eventually live a prosperous life. Dr. Yunus is the first one to understand poverty and create a system that helps the poor from the monstrous hands of poverty. He came up with ideas and solutions to prevent future poverty, ending with successful outcomes.

Dr. Yunus' book
Dr. Yunus' book

Dr. Yunus improved his home country of Bangladesh by founding The Grameen Bank and The Bank of the Villages. Dr. Yunus has helped millions of Bengali women escape the endless cycle of debt. Grameen Bank has provided loans totaling $5 billion. It operates in 70,000 villages, and 97 percent of its 6.6 million borrowers are women (Gale Student Resources In Context). Dr. Yunus has helped countless women get out of the sphere of poverty with just the little loans they received, eventually which they paid back. Many of the women struggle in Bangladesh because of gender, getting bad deals and bargains. Muhammad saw that the women struggled in society because banks wouldn't lend to people who had nothing to use as collateral. Considering the fact that many didn't have jobs or enough money to buy their own supplies, making profit was simply not a realistic goal. Dr. Yunus shows his heroic trait by breaking this circle of poverty as seen in present day Bangladesh. "In Bangladesh today, Grameen has 2,564 branches, with 19,800 staff serving 8.29 million borrowers in 81,367 villages."(http://www.grameen-info.org/).

Creating jobs and a place to get loans, Dr. Yunus has proved that poor people are capable if they are given a chance to strive and break free. The Bank of the Villages, gives out microloans to help the poor who otherwise would never receive a fair secure loan from a bank. This bank is opening new opportunities for the poor to allow them to buy what they need to help operate their small business. This bank is not only helping the borrowers business, but their lives too.

Grameen Bank is helping those in need and their legacy with their 16 decisions. This bank can also function properly making enough profit to keep the company alive; though it always keeps the people in mind.

“The Grameen Bank lends to those who pledge to follow the 16 decisions:
1, we shall follow and advance the four principles of Grameen Bank --- Discipline, Unity, Courage and Hard work - in all walks of out lives;
2, prosperity we shall bring to our families;
3, we shall not live in dilapidated houses. We shall repair our houses and work towards constructing new houses at the earliest, etc. (http://www.grameen-info.org).”

They vowed to not harm the environment, maintain families of a reasonable size, educate their children, plant vegetables for their families and sell the surplus, build and use pit-latrines, and avoid dowries.

The Grameen bank isn't only about making money or helping out those in need financially, they help guide people to make better choices to create better lives for them and their legacy. Some of the decisions make it harder for them to get the loan, but to help them in the future to make the right choices to live longer and happier lives. Muhammad Yunus has shown his heroic traits by helping those in need; though can helping those in need really be functional? "The bank, which has been self-sufficient since 1995, services close to 85,000 villages in Bangladesh and has spread to 38 other countries. Perhaps most impressively, its loan recovery rate is just short of 98 percent."(Gale Student Resources In Context).” This bank is the first of its kind plus it is fully functioning. This bank not only helps the impoverished but the bank is successful with recovery rates higher than most regular brand-name banks.

Dr. Yunus’ modernized bank has supported the impoverished and their legacy successfully. Dr. Yunus' diligent work and determination had created a successful company helping millions with a revolutionary idea known as the microcredit. Using microcredit, millions of people worldwide have better lives. He inspires me because of being born in Bangladesh a small third world country unknown to most. He brings pride to a country that people know little to nothing about, which inspires me to do something to support and spread awareness of the country of Bangladesh. He also risked his family and his money on his beliefs that the poor can do just as well as everyone else, given the chance, and he was the one who gave that golden opportunity.  Only those with a complete knowledge about the poor can see their potential and have them and the rest of their generations prosper as well as anyone else by breaking out of the normal system; Grameen bank did just that "Grameen Bank operates on the principle that poverty is not created by the poor, but by the institutions and policies that surround them. It aims to break the vicious cycle of poverty by giving those who need it most--rural people, most often women--access to small-scale loans for business, housing or education."("Bank with a conscience: after 30 years, the Grameen Bank has empowered over seven million borrowers."Gale Student Resources In Context).

Works Consulted

"Muhammad Yunus." Newsmakers. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 17 Dec. 2010.

"Muhammad Yunus inspires Philippine NGOs.(Opinion & Editorial)." Manila Bulletin 27 Oct. 2006. Global Issues In Context. Web. 17 Dec. 2010. Rev. of Grammen Bank. Grameen Bank. Grameen Communications., 15 Dec. 12,15,2010. 
     Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

"Yunus, Muhammad." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2010. Web.  17 Dec. 2010.

Page created on 11/15/2014 11:37:34 AM

Last edited 1/4/2017 10:36:06 PM

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Works Consulted

"Muhammad Yunus." Newsmakers. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 17 Dec. 2010.

"Muhammad Yunus inspires Philippine NGOs.(Opinion & Editorial)." Manila Bulletin 27 Oct. 2006. Global Issues In Context. Web. 17 Dec. 2010.

Rev. of Grammen Bank. Grameen Bank. Grameen Communications., 15 Dec. 12,15,2010. 
      Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

"Yunus, Muhammad." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2010. Web.  17 Dec. 2010.