Quick on the heels of the most coveted prizes of all, the Nobel Prize for peace, Dr. Yunus has been honored with yet another prestigious award: America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom for 2009. The medal is awarded to individuals who, as the citations say, ‘make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors’.
Felicitations, awards and tributes are not new to Dr. Yunus, but the latest of the rare honours attests to the growing recognition of his historic role to free the world’s poor from the shackles of penury through his simple but ground breaking collateral-free micro-credit schemes.
Dr. Yunus, endearingly known as ‘Banker to the Poor’, joins an elite band of world leaders honoured with the prestigious Medal by President Barack H Obama, who himself rewrote the history to become the most powerful man on the planet. President Obama, who also ushered in a new era of freedom, peace and prosperity for the mankind and neglected millions by dismantling seemingly insurmountable barriers, paid glowing tribute to the recipients of the awards. “They have blazed trails and broken down barriers. They have discovered new theories, launched new initiatives, and opened minds to new possibilities”.
President Obama had special words of felicitation for professor Yunus. “Dr.Muhammad Yunus,” he said “is a global leader in anti-poverty efforts, and has pioneered the use of “micro-loans” to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral”.
We in the Grameen family—over 7 million of borrowers, staff and associates join our donors and well wishers at home and abroad-to wish Dr. Yunus a long life and renewed inspiration to carry his noble mission to still new heights.