By Azad Majumder
Dhaka, Sep 19 (EFE) .- Mohammad Yunus, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, granted a small loan to a poor woman 45 years ago, sowing the seeds for a microcredit bank to help Bangladeshi village entrepreneurs to fight poverty.
Mohammad Babul grew up listening to the stories of his grandmother Sufia Khatun about how the small loan led to the birth of a bank that transformed the lives of millions of poor people around the world.
Babul was not born when it happened.
“I heard a lot of stories from my grandmother about how she struggled in her life and how her loan from (the future) Grameen Bank helped her earn a living,” said Babul, 37. years.
He drives a three-wheeled e-taxi.
Her husband had abandoned Sufia and their two daughters.
The woman was running a small bamboo stool business near a university campus in the village of Jobra, in southern Bangladesh, when she met economics professor Mohammad Yunus.
Sufia was struggling and Yunus came as a godsend.
He loaned her money to help him develop his business.
Once profits improved, Sufia, encouraged, approached a bank for more credit, but the branch manager laughed at the idea.
The bank didn’t want to trust someone with few resources.
It was then that the idea of creating a system of granting money to the poorest struck Yunus.
“The Bank of the Poor” was born in Jobra on September 19, 1976, with the first loan to Sufia.
Later in the year, the bank extended the financial facility to 10 beneficiaries.
In 1983, Grameen Bank was integrated into the Bangladesh banking system to begin formal operations.
Bank data shows that it granted loans to more than nine million people, 97% of whom are women, in 81,600 localities from 1976 to 2019.
He has spent more than $ 25 billion to help the poor start small businesses and build homes.
Sufia died in 1997, nine years before Yunus and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Among the beneficiaries of the Grameen Bank is Mohammad Solaiman from the southern village of Mekhal.