Do you ever hear a man named Muhammad Yunus? Muhammad Yunus is founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2006 from The Norwegian Nobel Committee for his effort and dedication on eradicate poverty.
Muhammad Yunus has a dream to eradicate poverty in the world. Then, he translate his visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Across cultures and civilizations, he have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development. The wonderful thing that he had done is loans money to poor people without any financial security. Its wonderful because before Grameen Bank exist, it was thought impossible to implement in a real world.
At a time that happened to be one of the worst economic situations in Bangladesh, he was a teacher at a university in Bangladesh. There was many people dying of hunger in Bangladesh. As a teacher, he was wondering what an economics professor should be teaching in the classroom about the economy of the country when people are dying because economics is not working there. So he thought it would be better to go out of the classroom, to see if in any way he can make herself useful to other people, those next door to the university campus. Then, Muhammad Yunus led his students on a field trip to a poor village in Bangladesh. Then, he got the answer of his wondering.
While he was doing that, he trying to kind of feel a little easy with herself that at least he was doing something, but he didn’t know what he was doing. The only objective he had in his mind was to be useful to somebody. Along the way, he saw how people suffered from not having a tiny little bit of money in their hand. They had to borrow from the moneylender. And he have to face the institution that grew globally for centuries, which is called moneylending. He wanted to see if he could somehow provide that money and get the poor people out of the reach of the moneylenders. So he gave a small amount of money to people, and they felt excited that it could happen like this, that they could survive without the moneylenders’s money. Seeing this excitement, he thought that maybe he should try to continue with that and provide more money to more people.”
Then, he began lending money to the poor people by taking money from the bank and giving it to people who needed it. He wanted to see this happen with no collateral needed: That’s one thing he wanted to show, so that poor people can take money. And he wanted to see the money be used for incomegenerating activities so that they can pay the money back. Excitement took him from one village, to the second village, third village, and continued. Later, he set up a bank called Grameen Bank.
In our country, Indonesia, poor people didn’t get appropriate attention. Poverty is not created by the poor people. They are the victims. Poverty has been created by the economic and social system. In our country, the economic institutions and policies did not take notice of their struggle. They took us down a wrong path, and caused misery for people. We know that our government still can’t eliminate poverty. The essence of Muhammad Yunus’s story is that every single individual on earth has both the potential and the right to live a decent life. If we give them an opportunity to grow, they will work to bring about their own development. Let keep hoping someday maybe by Muhammad Yunus’s methods, poverty can be eradicated from our country.
The story give us inspiration that big action come from the the little things, the motivation to make the idea into reality. As a university student, maybe we have a lot of thinking, but it won’t be useful if we don’t translate it into the action. [primz]
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