National Museum of Scotland located in the city of Edinburg in 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 launched its fascinating programme, Village Phone on March 26, 1997, with a vision to bridge the technological gap between urban and rural Bangladesh through affordable mobile technology.
This programme was uniquely designed only for Grameen Bank borrowers and recognized the Museum as a significant breakthrough in technology to be familiar as the Technology Museum.
Back in 1997, mobile telephone was a product of luxury in context or urban areas of Bangladesh and was a fairytale for rural areas due to its limited availability and high price. With extensive success in microcredit programme with rural poor, Professor Muhammad Yunus came up with an idea to set up at least one phone in one village to serve the necessary demand of telephone services.
Village Phone was also introduced as a unique tool to alleviate poverty with entrepreneurship skills of Grameen Bank female members.
The selected member, knows as “Telephone Lady” would use it as a commercial pay phone for the community. Village Phone programme launched with only 24 subscribers in 1997 and by the end of June 2016 the programme has a total of 1,707,138 subscribers in Bangladesh.