X

Type keywords like Social Business, Grameen Bank etc.

Grameen Telecom: A Beacon of Women Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh

Grameen Telecom: A Beacon of Women Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh

Press Release (21 November 2023)

 

Dhaka, 21 November 2023

 

Back in 1997 mobile telephone was a product of high level luxury in the context of urban areas of Bangladesh and any where else in the world. It was a fairytale for rural areas of Bangladesh. Telephone service of any kind hardly existed in rural areas. In urban area it was a rarity. With  success of microcredit program with rural poor, Professor Muhammad Yunus came up with an idea to set up at least one publicly available phone in one village to serve the necessary demand of telephone services by extending Grameen Phone net work to cover all villages of Bangladesh. . This phone was made available to public for a fee by a Grameen Bank borrower known as Telephone Lady.  

 

Grameen Telecom, a pioneering force in the realm of rural technology development, stands as a testament to the transformative power of connectivity for rural women.  Established in 1997, Grameen Telecom, as a Social Business (a not-for-profit Company), has been instrumental in bridging the digital divide and fostering socio-economic progress in remote communities across Bangladesh and became the pioneer in the whole world.

 

Grameen Telecom launched its fascinating program, Village Phone on March 26, 1997, with a vision to bridge the technological gap between urban and rural Bangladesh through affordable mobile technology. This program was uniquely designed only for Grameen Bank borrowers.

 

Village Phone was also introduced as a unique tool to alleviate poverty with entrepreneurship skills of Grameen Bank female members. 

 

Village Phone program launched with only 24 subscribers in 1997 and by the end of June 2016 the program has a total of over 17 lakh subscribers in Bangladesh. Now the  widespread availability of  mobile technology and service makes mobile phone available to anybody any where in Bangladesh. 

 

History of Grameen Telecom: Founded with a visionary commitment to making telecommunications accessible to all, Grameen Telecom initiated its journey with a focus on empowering rural populations, particularly women. Its flagship initiative, the Village Phone Program, became a cornerstone in leveraging mobile technology for economic and social upliftment. Collaborating with GrameenPhone, the program empowered rural women entrepreneurs, allowing them to offer vital communication services within their communities.

 

Village Phone Priogramme Received many Awards and Accolades for its creativity and contribution to women empowerment. :

  1. CAPAM Bronze Award for Service to the Public (1998): Grameen Telecom's dedication to public service was honored with the CAPAM Bronze Award by the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration & Management, based in London, UK, in 1998, highlighting its outstanding contributions to the well-being of communities.

 

  1. GSM Community Service" (1998): In 1998, Grameen Telecom was bestowed with the "GSM Community Service" award by the GSM Association, an association of 750 mobile operators worldwide based in London, UK. This recognition acknowledges its pioneering efforts in leveraging mobile technology for the betterment of society.

 

  1. Petersburg Prize for Use of the IT to improve Poor People’s Lives in 2004:Grameen Telecom's impactful use of information technology to enhance the lives of the underprivileged earned the organization the prestigious Petersburg Prize in 2004.

 

  1. First ITU World Information Society Award (2005):Grameen Telecom's visionary initiatives in promoting information society and bridging digital divides led to the organization being honored with the first ITU World Information Society award by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, 2005.

 

Bangladesh’s Telephone Lady Programme at the National Museum of Scotland:

  • The groundbreaking success of Bangladesh's Telephone Lady Programme, a hallmark initiative of Grameen Telecom, has been acknowledged on the global stage. A testament to its significance, the program has found a place of honor at the National Museum of Scotland, where it stands as a symbol of empowerment and progress. This recognition underscores the program's historical importance in leveraging telecommunications for the betterment of rural communities.

  • National Museum of Scotland located in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland has opened ten new galleries in 2016 and one of them is on “Telephone Lady” of Bangladesh. The exhibition was officially launched on July 08, 2016 under the Science and Technology gallery.

  • National Museum of Scotland reached out to Grameen Telecom in February, 2015 with their interest in Village Phone. Grameen Telecom sent case studies,  newsletters, guide book and a range of equipments that was being used by a Telephone Lady during 1997 to 2000 to operate her phone business. The display includes Nokia handset, GSM Tester and a Signboard Stand.

Looking Forward: As Grameen Telecom continues to evolve, it remains dedicated to its mission of empowering the underserved and fostering inclusive development. The organization looks forward to further collaborations, innovations, and positive strides in the journey towards a more connected, prosperous rural Bangladesh.

 

Related

Professor Yunus Visits Social Enterprises in London  and addresses meetings

Professor Yunus Visits Social Enterprises in London  and addresses meetings
Yunus Centre Press Release– 4 April 2024   Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus recently concluded a  visit to London from March 22 to March 25, 2024, at the invitation of Social Enterprise UK. Social Enterprise UK was founded to create social...

লন্ডনে সামাজিক ব্যবসা পরিদর্শনে প্রফেসর ইউনূস, বিভিন্ন বৈঠকে ভাষণ প্রদান

লন্ডনে সামাজিক ব্যবসা পরিদর্শনে প্রফেসর ইউনূস, বিভিন্ন বৈঠকে ভাষণ প্রদান
ইউনূস সেন্টার প্রেস রিলিজ – ৪ এপ্রিল ২০২৪   নোবেল বিজয়ী প্রফেসর মুহাম্মদ ইউনূস সম্প্রতি লন্ডনে বি...

Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus Discusses Social Business Olympics in Paris.

Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus Discusses Social Business Olympics in Paris.
Yunus Centre Press Release– 2 April 2024   Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus embarked on a series of impactful engagements across France from March 20th to March 22nd, where he shared his visionary insights on microcredit, the power of sport in combat...

সামাজিক ব্যবসা ভিত্তিক প্যারিস অলিম্পিক ২০২৪ নিয়ে ফ্রান্সে বিভিন্ন পর্যায়ে প্রফেসর ইউনূসের সংগে আলোচনা

সামাজিক ব্যবসা ভিত্তিক প্যারিস অলিম্পিক ২০২৪ নিয়ে ফ্রান্সে বিভিন্ন পর্যায়ে প্রফেসর ইউনূসের সংগে আলোচনা
ইউনূস সেন্টার প্রেস রিলিজ – ২ এপ্রিল ২০২৪   তাঁর সাম্প্রতিক ফ্রান্স সফরকালে নোবেল লরিয়েট প্রফেসর ...

Professor Yunus Launches Partnership with Milano Cortina Winter Olympic 2026

Professor Yunus Launches Partnership with Milano Cortina Winter Olympic 2026
Yunus Centre Press Release – 27 March 2024   Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus visited Venice and Milan to finalise the partnership between   Milan Cortina Winter Olympic and Yunus Sports Hub.   During his visit to Venice on March 18th, Profes...

প্রফেসর ইউনূস মিলানো কর্টিনা শীতকালীন অলিম্পিক ২০২৬ এর সাথে অংশীদারিত্ব গ্রহণ করলেন

প্রফেসর ইউনূস মিলানো কর্টিনা শীতকালীন অলিম্পিক ২০২৬ এর সাথে অংশীদারিত্ব গ্রহণ করলেন
ইউনূস সেন্টার প্রেস রিলিজ – ২৭ মার্চ ২০২৪   নোবেল বিজয়ী অধ্যাপক ইউনূস মিলান কর্টিনা শীতকালীন অলি...

Grameen America Invests $4 Billion in Women Entrepreneurs

Grameen America Invests $4 Billion in Women Entrepreneurs
Yunus Centre Press Release: 27 February 2024   New York, February 14, 2024— Grameen America proudly announces a momentous milestone, having invested $4 billion in affordable loan capital directly to women entrepreneurs in financially underserved communiti...

নারী উদ্যোক্তাদের জন্য গ্রামীণ আমেরিকার ৪ বিলিয়ন ডলার বিনিয়োগ

নারী উদ্যোক্তাদের জন্য গ্রামীণ আমেরিকার ৪ বিলিয়ন ডলার বিনিয়োগ
ইউনূস সেন্টার প্রেসরিলিজ – ২৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি ২০২৪   নিউইয়র্ক, ১৪ই ফেব্রুয়ারি ২০২৪ — গ্রামীণ আমেরি...

ডক্টর ইউনূস প্রসঙ্গে গ্রামীণ ব্যাংকের প্রেস কনফারেন্সে উত্থাপিত বিষয়ের প্রতিবাদ

ইউনূস সেন্টার প্রেস রিলিজ - ১৮ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০২৪   ১. গ্রামীণ ব্যাংকের কোন প্রতিষ্ঠানে ড. ইউনূসের মালিক...