Today everyone knows about microcredit. It all started from a basic philosophy of Yunus Bhai. Before giving loans to women, he made a group of five with them to find out how effectively grassroots people can be transformed into agents of changing their own destiny. There was also a topic called ‘Sixteen Decisions’. One of these sixteen resolutions was that women should first exercise together.
There was an obligation to meet on time. Dr. Yunus believed that women must first break down the wall of inertia in order to control change. In the beginning he wanted to free them from mental, social and physical inertia. Women are coming together to become agents of development. It was a revolutionary idea in Bangladesh at that time. But this is the story behind his Grameen Bank.
The concept of microfinance has historically been with us. Be it through zakat or helping a neighbor in distress. But Dr. Yunus’s major achievement was to set the whole issue of microfinance as a model. If a subject is modeled, it creates an opportunity to spread. His one goal was to spread it around. Breaking down the wall of inertia of the rural people was part of this model. Dr. Yunus first started microcredit activities in Chittagong. Almost everyone knows about Jobra village in particular. Then people thought that it happened in one place, it might not happen in another area. Then he went to Tangail. Later, this activity spread across the borders of the country to many countries of the world. Accepting the concept of microcredit, many other organizations are now playing a role in poverty alleviation and social change in the country and abroad. Professor Yunus was also awarded the Nobel Prize as a global recognition. Explaining why he was nominated, a Nobel spokesman said:
In recognition of their efforts in economic and social development from below, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank in two equal parts of Norway. Lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large populations find ways out of poverty. Microcredit is one such approach. Bottom-up development also helps advance democracy and human rights.