Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast of South Asia. Today it is mainly divided between the independent nation of Bangladesh (previously East Bengal), and the Indian federal republic's constitutive state of Paschimbanga, although some regions of the previous kingdoms of Bengal (during local monarchial regimes and British rule) are now part of the neighboring Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Tripura, Orissa and Assam. The majority of Bengal is inhabited by Bengali people who speak the Bengali language, also called Bangla.
The region of Bengal is one of the most densely populated regions on earth, with population density exceeding 900/km². Most of the Bengal region lies in the low-lying Ganges–Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta, the world's largest delta. In the southern part of the delta lies Sundarbans— the world's largest mangrove forest and home to the famed Bengal tiger. Though the population of the region is mostly rural and agrarian, two megacities, Kolkata (previously Calcutta) and Dhaka, are located in Bengal. The Bengal region is notable for its contribution to the socio-cultural uplift of Indian society in the form of Bengal Renaissance, and revolutionary activities during the Indian independence movement.
Hangseshwari temple is a located in Banshberia, Hooghly. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Hangseshwari temple has a distinctive style of architecture — different from the usual pattern present in this area. The structure of the temples is the representation of Tantrik Satchakrabhed.
The Grameen Bank (Bengali: গ্রামীণ ব্যাংক) is a microfinance organization started in Bangladesh that makes small loans (known as microcredit) to the impoverished without requiring collateral. The system is based on the idea that the poor have skills that are under-utilized. The bank also accepts deposits, provides other services, and runs several development-oriented businesses including fabric, telephone and energy companies. The organization and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
Muhammad Yunus, the bank's founder, earned a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States. He was inspired during the terrible Bangladesh famine of 1974 to make a small loan of $27 to a group of 42 families so that they could create small items for sale without the burdens of predatory lending.
The Grameen Bank (literally, "Bank of the Villages", in Bengali) is the outgrowth of Muhammad Yunus' ideas. The bank began as a research project by Yunus and the Rural Economics Project at Bangladesh's University of Chittagong to test his method for providing credit and banking services to the rural poor. In 1976, the village of Jobra and other villages surrounding the University of Chittagong became the first areas eligible for service from Grameen Bank. The Bank was immensely successful and the project, with government support, was introduced in 1979 to the Tangail District (to the north of the capital, Dhaka). The bank's success continued and it soon spread to various other districts of Bangladesh and in 1983 it was transformed into an independent bank by the legislature of Bangladesh. Bankers from ShoreBank, a community development bank in Chicago, helped Yunus with the official incorporation of the bank under a grant from the Ford Foundation. The bank's repayment rate was hit following the 1998 flood of Bangladesh before recovering again in recent years.
The Bank today continues to expand across the nation and still provides small loans to the rural poor. As of mid-2006, Grameen Bank branches number over 2,100. Its success has inspired similar projects around the world.
The current time is 23:53, Saturday April 20, 2013 (IST) • 0:23, Sunday April 21, 2013 (BST) • Boishakh 8, 1420.