Ignorance and greed

Demonstrations in Dhaka these days, supporting Yunus

Demonstrations in Dhaka these days, supporting Yunus

I was teaching in one of the universities while the country was suffering from a severe famine. People were dying of hunger, and I felt very helpless. As an economist, I had no tool in my tool box to fix that kind of situation.

I went to the bank and proposed that they lend money to the poor people. The bankers almost fell over.
They explained to me that the bank cannot lend money to the poor.

Mohammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate, is one of the persons I most admire in today’s world. That’s why I choose him to be one of my CHARACTER OF THE WEEK in this blog.

A man who made a gigantic difference in this world by creating the microcredit, Yunus now have to face ignorance and greed.

Some alarming events have unfolded over the last days. This reached a climax on March 8th when the High Court of Bangladesh upheld the Central Bank’s decision to remove Professor Yunus from his post as Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, which he founded over three decades ago.

Poor people are a like bonsai tree, a little tree.

You pick the seed of the tallest tree in the forest and take the best seed out of it, and plant it in a flower pot. You get a tiny little tree, we call it a bonsai.

Nothing wrong with the seed, you’ve got the best seed possible.

Nothing wrong with the tree, because you actually picked the tallest tree in the forest.

But actually it grows this far… why? Because we put them in the flower pot. The base.

We need to change the base.

Next Tuesday the ultimate decision about Prof. Yunus’ position as Managing Director of Grameen Bank will be taken by the Supreme Court. If the verdict is negative, Prof. Yunus would have to leave Grameen Bank and probably also his house. Yunus Centre could be shut down in order to block international communication and Prof. Yunus might even be arrested if he continues fighting after the verdict.

The only weapon that we currently have and that the government doesn’t, is international awareness and presence in media and people’s heads!

Defending the integrity of Professor Yunus, and fighting for him to remain involved in the Grameen Bank and ensuring a smooth transition, is crucial in order to preserve the independence of this unique model which has helped lift over 8 million people out of poverty in Bangladesh.

Poverty is unnecessary.

Published by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

I heard this on the BBC World Service a few days ago. I am baffled. Why is there an attempt to remove Mohammad Yunus from the Grameen Bank? He has done a lot of good. Or is it that the rich and powerful in corrupt Bangladesh feel threatened when the poor are empowered?

Like Paulo Coelho, although I have never met Mohammad Yunus, he has a great deal of respect from me.

More information from Friends of Grameen.

Muhammad Yunus and social enterprise
Creating a World Without Poverty

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