Nobel laureate championing a cause in Olympics

Prof. Yunus wants organisers to use all their budget for a social cause.

Abhinav Bindra (left) and Prof. Muhammad Yunus.   -  Special Arrangement

Nobel laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus, who works for the betterment of society with his revolutionary idea of Grameen Bank, may not visit the Tokyo Olympics owing to the pandemic, but has been relentlessly working for the social success of the Paris Games scheduled for 2024.

In a lively webinar on ‘how sport can change the world’, initiated by Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra on Monday, Prof. Yunus shared his experience and views on tapping the power of sports.

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Prof. Yunus revealed that he had given the 2024 organisers a simple formula that every single penny of their €7 billion budget should have a “social purpose”.

For the poor

“The beautiful Games Village which they build for the athletes should serve the poor people in that area, with school, market area etc. I asked them to design it in a way that it serves the homeless people of the local community. I keep asking them tough questions, and they try to find solutions. One Olympics can transform the society,” said Prof. Yunus.

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When queried by the Madhya Pradesh Sports Minister, Yashodara Raje Scindia, Prof. Yunus said that it was equally important to support those who don’t succeed in sports.

“Put the money on the table. The thinking starts, once the money is there,” said Prof. Yunus, as he suggested supporting sports persons after their sporting career, by encouraging them to be entrepreneurs rather than ‘job seekers’.

Collective good

Explaining the difference between business, charity and social business, Prof. Yunus emphasised that the thought of “collective good” was as much part of human beings, as “self interest”. Prof. Yunus stressed that the pandemic, despite serving a huge blow to humanity, had given an opportunity for the world to start in a new direction, and avoid a suicidal path.

Bindra thanked Prof. Yunus for the “lively conversation”, and interesting ideas to use the enormous power of sports for a better society.

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