Review of the book “Banker to the Poor”- by MUHAMMAD YUNUS- by LG 9
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Prof. Mohammed Yunus 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 Grameen bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.” Yunus himself has received several other national and international honors. REVIEW OF THE BOOK:
Banker To The Poor is an astonishing story of how a man with a vision, strong values and tremendous patience could change the status quo and how he established a completely new and revolutionary institution of Micro Credit in the form of his Grameen Bank. Yunus begins the book with describing the things which motivated him to start the Grameen Bank and how he analyzed the root cause of the misery of the rural women of Bangladesh who work hard day and night and are still not able to get out of the clichés of poverty, thanks to the middle men and money lenders. So he found out that how a meager loan can free the whole village from the poverty. Then he has taken a critical view on the donor system that prevailed at that time. He has discussed in detail his conflicts with the World Bank. He has justified his views against the system of donor funding with the help of the case of a beggar and how a person paying him few pennies is spoiling his life. He rejected huge amount of loans from World Bank and his success also influenced the senior leadership of World Bank to change their views. Then he talked about his childhood and student life experiences. He had undergone lots of contrasts in his life. At one point of time they were a very happy family before his mother suffered from a mental illness which worsened with time. He was very close to his mother and he felt she had lots of influence on his life. He also admires his father. His father never accepted defeat and struggled a lot to make things better for the family. His father valued education a lot and he made sure that all his children got the best of it. He also talks about how he proved himself by successfully starting a business of packaging material. Then he shares his experiences in America where he pursued his PhD. He has analysed the differences in his country and America. He has also talked about two of his teachers who he admired a lot. One was from Chittagong College and one was the Romanian professor in his American university. Yunus has given a detailed account of how he participated in the political movement for the formation of Bangladesh. At that time he was teaching at Middle Tennessee State University. On 25th March 1971, the liberation war started in Bangladesh and Yunus’ earlier plans to return to Bangladesh were cancelled. He started keeping a close watch on the events in Dhaka. He had always felt for his motherland and always wanted to do something for it. The incidences back home provoked him to take action. He formed a local community of Bengalis and gave interview to the press urging American government to put pressure on Pakistan government. Through this community he did everything he could to bring this issue to the notice of international community. Later, on 16th December 1971, Bangladesh won the war of independence but the country was ruined by then. The economy was shattered. Many people were killed and many were residing in the refugee camps of misery. At this moment, Yunus decided to go to Bangladesh to participate in nation building. Yunus returned from America in 1972 with a lot of idealism and hope. He joined the planning commission but felt dissatisfied with his work. Therefore, he decided to join Chittagong University as a professor. Out of his genuine concern about the world around, he...