Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bangladesh, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus

The third oldest of nine children Yunus was born on 28 June, 1940 in a Muslim family in the village of Bathua,Chittagong.His father Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar was a jeweler. After passing some days in his childhood in the village he came to Chittagong city with his parent in 1944 and was admitted in Lamabazar Primary School there. He passed his matriculation exam from Chittagong Collegiate School securing 16th position outof 39,000 students.

Chittagong Collegiate School, Yunus in 2003

During school years he was an active boy scout and travelled to West Pakistan and India in 1952, and to canada in 1953 to attend jamborees. While he was a student in Chittagong College he used to participate in cultural activities and got prizes in acting. He completed B.A. in 1960 amd M.A. in 1961 in Economics from Dhaka University.

After complting his graduation he joined the Bureau of Economics as a research assistant to the to the economical researchesof Prof. Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan. Later he was appointed as a lecturer in Economics in Chittagong College in 1961.During that time he also set up a profitable packaging factory on the side. He was offered a Fulbright scholarship in 1965 to study in the USthrough the graduate programm in economic development in 1971.From 1969 to 1972, Yunus was an assistant professor of Economics at Middle Tenessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN.

During the Liberation war in Bangladesh in 1971, Yunus founded a citizen's committee and ran the Bangladesh Information center, with other Bangladeshi's living in United States,to raise support for Liberation. He also published the Bangladesh News letter from his home in Nashville.After the War, Yunus returned to Bangladesh and was appointed to the govt's Plannijg Commission headed by Nurul Islam.
Prof. Nurul Islam, Northern University, Bangladesh

He found the job boring and resigned to join Chittagong University as head of the Economics Dept. He became involved in poverty reduction after observing the famine of 1974, and established a rural economic Programm as a reseaarch project.In 1975, he developed a Nabajug (new age) Tebhaga Khamar (three shre farm)which the Govt adopted as the Packaged input programm.In order to make the project more effective, Yunus and his associates proposed the Gram Sarker (the village govt. ) programm.Introduced by then president Ziaur Rahman in late 1970s. the Govt. formed 40,392 village Govt. as a fourth layer of Govt. in 2003. On 2 August, 2005, in response to a petition filed by Bangladesh Legal aids and ServicesTrust (BLAST) the High Court had declared Gram sarker as illegal and unconstitutional.