How Muhammad Yunus has devastated lives of people – The story of Sufia Begum and others

Sufia Begum was the first borrower of microcredit loan from Muhammad Yunus among the villagers of Jobra in Bangladesh. Sufia died on January 16, 1997 leaving two daughters – Nurunnahar and Fazilatunnhar. Sufia died in utter poverty.


To prove himself as the savior of poor and a role model of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus has always resorted to lies and falsehood. For decades, Muhammad Yunus has fooled the world, including attendees at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony by proclaiming – the first borrower of his microcredit – Sufia Begum succeeded in becoming wealthy because of his “unique innovation”.

International media has been praising Muhammad Yunus and portrayed Sufia Begum as the poster woman of microcredit’s success. Influential individuals in the world, including then US President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton, Dutch monarch Queen Maxima, Jordan’s Queen Rania as well as George Soros – everyone was praising Yunus. Meanwhile, according to a number of reports published in Blitz, Muhammad Yunus had connections with Jeffrey Epstein clan – the infamous pedophile and Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwel’s younger sister Isabel Maxwel is connected to Grameen America. In another report in Blitz, it has been revealed that operators of microcredit are directly linked to transnational human organ trafficking rackets.

The report titled ‘From Nobel Laureate to organ trafficking: The dark side of micro-credit and the Grameen Bank’s global web’ says, “Investigations have unveiled a nefarious link between the Grameen Bank and the illicit trade of organ trafficking. Reports indicate that individuals unable to repay their loans were coerced into selling their organs to settle their debts. Central to this operation is Abdus Sattar, a key figure in this illicit trade. The symbolism present in Grameen’s logos, including imagery of hearts and hands, also indicates the same”.

Back in 2010, internationally acclaimed investigative journalist Tom Heinemann in his documentary ‘The Micro Debt’ has exposed many of the sinister actions of microcredit enterprises as well as Muhammad Yunus. This documentary has also exposed how Muhammad Yunus even did not hesitate in stealing US$100 million from the Norwegian grant that actually was sent to Grameen Bank for using in poverty alleviation.

While reporters of Blitz are further investigating the cases of microcredit and irregularities centering this vicious debt trap circle, we are providing detailed information on Sufia Begum – the poster woman of Muhammad Yunus.

Lies centering Sufia Begum and realities

The story of Sufia reads like this. Yunus gave BDT 20 to Sufia Begum of Jobra village [in Chittagong, Bangladesh] years back as loan with the condition of returning in time with interest. Sufia returned that money and got second loan of BDT 500 from Yunus. She was so excited that she spread the news in the entire village. This was the beginning of Grammen Bank concept. But, most of the borrowers, who took money from Yunus, gradually turned from poor to poorest as they were compelled to pay regular interests at high rate. In Jobra village alone, a large number of villagers have already been turned into paupers by Yunus and his Grameen Bank.

Broken hut of Sufia Begum, the first borrower of loan from Yunus.

Yunus and his Grameen Bank projected Jobra village and Sufia as example of their excellent success stories to the international audience. Through such campaign, Yunus has attained tremendous attention of the international community. He has gained fame in the world as ‘pioneer’ of micro credit, for which he got Nobel Peace prize in 2006. The name of Sufia, the first borrower of loan from Yunus’s Grameen Bank, has already crossed international boundaries of many countries, as Grameen Bank proudly pronounced her name as one of the brilliant success stories of their so-called micro-credit loans. It is beyond knowledge of many that, almost one decade back, Sufia died due to extreme poverty and lack of any minimum medical treatment.

True story of Sufia Begum – lies of Yunus exposed!

Sufia Begum was the first borrower of microcredit loan from Muhammad Yunus among the villagers of Jobra in Bangladesh. Sufia died on January 16, 1997 leaving two daughters – Nurunnahar and Fazilatunnhar. Sufia died in utter poverty.

Sufia Begum’s husband had died long before her death during the childhood of their daughters. He was a job-holder in a tiny local business farm. After his death Sufia became the only earning member of her family. She used to deal in vegetables. Sufia somehow managed to arrange the marriage of her daughters after her husband had died. Even after marriage both the daughters were living besides Sufia’s homestead. They became separated from her mother’s family though they had reciprocal relationship regarding earning and sharing livelihood.

Sufia’s daughters have been living in the east corner of the village adjacent to a mosque. There are three separate houses, two of those are of two sons’ of Fazilatunnahar’s and the other is of younger daughter Nurunnahar’s son.

Muhammad Yunus proudly enters the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony along with Taslima Begum, a borrower of Grameen Bank’s loan. Insert photo of broken hut of Sufia Begum.

Sufia Begum took loan from Grameen Bank more than 25 years ago. First, she took taka 60. At that time, she had to deposit one taka per day. Having paid the loan back Sufia took taka 500 and paid back. Even after that she took another taka 500 and paid in irregular installments. But she never got back her deposit from Grameen Bank. At that time dealing in vegetable and food grains was not enough to bear her livelihood. So she was some sort dependent upon the incomes of her daughters’ family. At that period due to the economic hardship and the pressure of loan from Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank, Sufia’s elder daughter lost her mental balance.

Now both the daughters have been living in the same besides Sufia’s homestead with their children and grandchildren. Both of them and their children are so poor that they could not take any loan from either Grameen Bank or any other NGOs.

Sufia’s elder daughter Fazilatunnahar has two sons. Fazilatunnahar’s husband left her and got married again. Both of her sons are rickshaw-pullers and are married. Now they have been living with their wives, children and mother in two tiny straw-roofed huts.

A few months before the younger one was unemployed; a wealthy neighbor gave him a rickshaw on the condition to gradually pay the price back. Fazilatunnahar is yet to get back her mental balance. She gets furious when she confronts outsiders from the village and starts deploring about the harms of the loan. Even she scolds the journalists, television crews who frequently visit her house.

The younger daughter of Sufia Begum – Nurunnahar has two sons and one daughter. Her husband also left her for along. All of her children but one is married though the daughter’s husband has left her with a child. All of them have been living as one family. Nurunnahar’s elder son is also a rickshaw-puller and the only earning member of the family. All of them have been living in a small hut. Though it needs to be repaired, they family cannot afford due to poverty. During the rainy season water fall down from the roof and makes it difficult for them to dwell in the hut.

Nurunnahar told Tom Heinemann that after receiving the Nobel Prize when Yunus visited Jobra village, Grameen Bank has forced the locals to collect money for buying flower bouquet for Yunus. At that time, Muhammad Yunus, in presence of the villagers had promised to provide financial assistance to Sufia Begum’s family so that they could build a new house. But this was just a false promise. Instead of helping Sufia Begum’s family in repairing their broken hut, a propaganda team of the shrewd Muhammad Yunus sent journalists from France, China, Germany and few more countries to Jobra village and film an adjacent building and claim it to be owned by Sufia Begum. In reality – the building belongs to an expatriate named Jabel Hussain who lives in Dubai.

The tale of Taslima Begum

In the year 2006, a significant moment unfolded when the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, in a historic decision, jointly awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to both the Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus. Among those who stood alongside Yunus to receive this esteemed accolade was Taslima Begum, a borrower of the Grameen Bank. However, what transpired in the aftermath of this event remains shrouded in mystery. Taslima Begum’s subsequent journey and whereabouts have become a perplexing enigma. Has Taslima Begum also fallen victim to the cunning and callousness of Muhammad Yunus? Why has she seemingly vanished from the public eye? The question looms: Where is Taslima Begum, and why does Yunus keep her hidden from the world’s view?

Shall investigative journalists from around the world care about digging into this bitter truth and further expose lies and deception of Muhammad Yunus?

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Blitz. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers on diversified topics, including international relations, politics, diplomacy, security and counterterrorism. Follow him on 'X' @Salah_Shoaib

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