Friends of Grameen, an international platform promoting Grameen Bank and its activities, yesterday insisted that it will continue its fight to help the microfinance institution retain its independence.
The statement from the global platform came a day after Grameen Bank founder Prof Muhammad Yunus stepped down as the bank’s managing director — much to the shock of his admirers and supporters across the globe.
The Nobel laureate’s departure from Grameen followed reports of torture on a Grameen employee supporting Prof Yunus, and attempts to intimidate and bribe the female directors on the Grameen Board.
Friends of Grameen said Prof Yunus decided to resign without waiting for the final outcome of a legal battle in the hope that his exit will make it possible for Grameen and its staff to function smoothly despite the government’s bid to take over the bank.
“This brave and courageous decision testifies to the commitment and attachment of Prof Yunus to the Grameen Bank, and his profound respect for all the Bank staff,” said the global platform in a statement.
Maria Nowak, chairman of the executive committee of Friends of Grameen, said: “We are terribly saddened by the outcome of months of harassment.”
“However, we remain hopeful that following Professor Yunus’ dignified decision to step down, the Government of Bangladesh will preserve the unique Grameen Bank model, without betraying the trust, or compromising the interests of its members,” said the founder of ADIE, a French microfinance organisation.
Prof Yunus’ resignation is the culmination of months of torment he endured due to propaganda by government high-ups and a section of the media, particularly after a Norwegian television documentary accused him of mishandling aid funds.
Although the issue dates back to 1998, and was settled amicably giving clean chit to the banker of the poor, his opponents seized the opportunity to launch an all-out attack to harass him.
Courtesy of The Daily Star