Jay Evensen: No good deed goes unpunished in Bangladesh

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  • Saif Shahid ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    June 25, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    I am an American with Bangladeshi origin and it makes me ashamed when I read articles with headings like this. But Jay is completely right.

    Prof Yunus has shown how a rural woman can be emancipated and dream of coming out of poverty. Out of about 9 million members of the Grameen Bank, even if 2 million have been able to come out from the poverty cycle - this will encourage others to strive for freedom from poverty.

    The present lady PM, inspite of all her rhetoric, has succumbed completely to Saudi money. Her father Mujib, who was supposedly the 'father of the nation' had initially put that Bangladesh was to be a 'secular' state in the first constitution. Now Hasina wants it to be - "Islam is the state religion" and also have the constitution start with the Arabic phrase "Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim".

    There used to be about 10% of the population who were non-Muslims (Hindus and other minorities). Because of direct persecutions and indirect threats the numbers have now gone down. The indigenous people of South Eastern Bangladesh are suffering similar atrocities that the Bengalis suffered at the hands of the Pakintani army in 1971. What an irony.

  • CanMan SEATTLE, WA
    June 24, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    Todd: Far be it from me to claim I know Grameen better than you. However, Mr. Evensen said nearly 2 million were brought out of poverty. Is it true that Grameen argues they have brought 10 million out of poverty?

    As for Mr. Evensen's Blog/OpEd, I think it is fantastic. At a time when so many are suffering so much, Microfinance continues to make a huge difference. Many Microfinance institutions (including Grameen, a leader in this area) provide health benefits, education, and many other services. No one can say enough for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and his incredibly creative work with Microfinance, and many business working on ending poverty. He wants poverty to be ONLY in a museum. And he has made a huge contribution on that path. The government of Bangladesh should be ashamed and embarrassed, if they weren't already so corrupt!


  • Todd Bernhardt WASHINGTON, DC
    June 24, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Excellent story, Jay. The only correct I'd make is that Grameen Bank has helped 10 million families since its founding in Bangladesh, not 2 million.

    Anyone looking for more information Prof. Yunus can visit our website or blog site, where we have posted regular updates on this issue.

    Thanks, Jay, for bringing this injustice to the attention of so many people.

    -Todd Bernhardt
    Director, Marketing and Communications
    Grameen Foundation