The Grameen Bank

A microfinance organization and community development bank started in Bangladesh that makes small loans (known as microcredit) to the impoverished without requiring collateral. The system is based on the idea that the poor have skills that are under-utilized. The bank also accepts deposits, provides other services, and runs several development-oriented businesses including fabric, telephone and energy companies. The organization and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
Muhammad Yunus, the bank’s founder, earned a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States. He was inspired during the terrible Bangladesh famine of 1974 to make a small loan of $27 to a group of 42 families so that they could create small items for sale without the burdens of predatory lending. Yunus believed that making such loans available to a wide population could ameliorate the rampant rural poverty in Bangladesh.The leadership skills of Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan (founder of Pakistan Academy for Rural Development now Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development) proved a source of inspiration for Yunus to start Grameen Bank.
The Grameen Bank (literally, “Bank of the Villages”, in Bangla) is the outgrowth of Muhammad Yunus’ ideas. The bank began as a research project by Yunus and the Rural Economics Project at Bangladesh’s University of Chittagong to test his method for providing credit and banking services to the rural poor. In 1976, the village of Jobra and other villages surrounding the University of Chittagong became the first areas eligible for service from Grameen Bank. The Bank was immensely successful and the project, with government support, was introduced in 1979 to the Tangail District (to the north of the capital, Dhaka). The bank’s success continued and it soon spread to various other districts of Bangladesh and in 1983 it was transformed into an independent bank by the legislature of Bangladesh. Bankers from ShoreBank, a community development bank in Chicago, helped Yunus with the official incorporation of the bank under a grant from the Ford Foundation. The bank’s repayment rate was hit following the 1998 flood of Bangladesh before recovering again in recent years. The Bank today continues to expand across the nation and still provides small loans to the rural poor. As of mid-2006, Grameen Bank branches number over 2,100. Its success has inspired similar projects around the world.
16 Decissions:
1. We shall follow and advance the four principles of Grameen Bank: Discipline, Unity, Courage and Hard work – in all walks of our lives.
2. Prosperity we shall bring to our families.
3. We shall not live in dilapidated houses. We shall repair our houses and work towards constructing new houses at the earliest.
4. We shall grow vegetables all the year round. We shall eat plenty of them and sell the surplus. 5. During the plantation seasons, we shall plant as many seedlings as possible.
6. We shall plan to keep our families small. We shall minimize our expenditures. We shall look after our health.
7. We shall educate our children and ensure that they can earn to pay for their education.
8. We shall always keep our children and the environment clean.
9. We shall build and use pit-latrines.
10. We shall drink water from tubewells. If it is not available, we shall boil water or use alum.
11. We shall not take any dowry at our sons’ weddings, neither shall we give any dowry at our daughter’s wedding. We shall keep our centre free from the curse of dowry. We shall not practice child marriage.
12. We shall not inflict any injustice on anyone, neither shall we allow anyone to do so.
13. We shall collectively undertake bigger investments for higher incomes.
14. We shall always be ready to help each other. If anyone is in difficulty, we shall all help him or her.
15. If we come to know of any breach of discipline in any centre, we shall all go there and help restore discipline. We shall take part in all social activities collectively. 
16. We shall take part in all social activities collectively. All the above information was compiled from Wikipedia

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