8:55am

Tue April 5, 2011
The Two-Way

After Losing Legal Fight, Grameen Bank's Yunus Urges Staff To Keep Faith

"It's time for you to work with greater dedication to keep this institution effective," Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus told the staff of Grameen Bank today, after the Supreme Court of Bangladesh denied the last appeal of his dismissal from the microlending bank he founded almost three decades ago, The Associated Press reports.

As the AP adds, "the ruling capped a month-long dispute between the government and Yunus — an outspoken government critic — over the right of the 'banker to the poor' to continue as managing director of the Grameen Bank."

Officially, Bangladesh's central bank removed Yunus from the position because at the age of 71 he was violating Grameen's retirement policy by continuing to work. Yunus has insisted the government is trying to take over the bank.

Yunus and Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." The Nobel committee added that:

"Micro-credit has proved to be an important liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions. Economic growth and political democracy can not achieve their full potential unless the female half of humanity participates on an equal footing with the male.

"Yunus's long-term vision is to eliminate poverty in the world. That vision can not be realised by means of micro-credit alone. But Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that, in the continuing efforts to achieve it, micro-credit must play a major part."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.