Kalam meets Grameen Bank's Yunus in Dhaka, dines with President, PM

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Dhaka, July 20 (ANI): Former Indian president A P J Abdul Kalam, who arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a three-day visit, met with Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, and attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Zillur Rahman.

During his hour-long meeting with Professor Yunus, Kalam was briefed about the activities of the Grameen Bank and the concept and practice of social business, as ways to tackle poverty and other social problems in South Asia.

Kalam said he wanted to learn details of working of Grameen Bank so that the system could be incorporated in India.

Professor Yunus informed Dr Kalam that Grameen would be delighted to help in his efforts to set up microcredit programme in India, as it already involved in Kerala.

Professor Yunus raised the issue of strengthening SAARC. He elaborated his proposals about the creation of SAARC passports and SAARC scholarships.

He said there is a strong need for joint efforts in the region to improve the quality of life of people with regard to poverty and healthcare. He proposed joint water management and power generation for the countries of the region, in the spirit of SAARC.

Dr Kalam said he fully supported the idea of closer cooperation within SAARC. He proposed that Bangladesh and India should work together to revive the importance of jute and golden fibre, by putting the research and technology behind it.

He offered his readiness to impress the importance of SAARC among leaders in the region.

Dr Kalam presented Professor Yunus the Hindi edition of Banker to the Poor.

Kalam served as India's 11th president from 2002 to 2007.

Kalam has been invited to deliver a lecture at the University of Information Technology and Sciences in Dhaka today.

President Zillur Rahman will preside over the first annual convocation of the university at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.

The Indian High Commission has said Kalam will also visit Dhaka University and Viquarunnessa Noon School and College, where he is expected to talk with students and staff.

The former Indian President will stay for an hour on the campus," Vice-Chancellor A A M S Arefin Siddique said.

Proctor Dr K M Saiful Islam said security has been beefed up on the campus.

The Special Security Force (SSF) would be in charge of security of the former Indian President on the DU campus, he also said.

Teachers, students and media personnel would be allowed to attend the programme, the proctor said. (ANI)

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