- Abhijit Banerjee feared "an assault to the system" over news of his win
- "I'm not an early morning person," he said in an interview
- Mr Banerjee said he got news of his win "very early in the morning"
Celebrated worldwide for winning the Nobel Prize for Economics today, Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee said he thought it would be wiser to just go back to bed after receiving news of his monumental achievement. In a phone interview to the Nobel Committee, Abhijit Banerjee feared "an assault to the system", since the news of his win came "very early in the morning". Mr Banerjee said he didn't sleep for very long since he kept getting congratulatory calls soon after news of his win broke.
"It was very early in the morning. I'm not an early morning person. I figured it would be an assault to the system if I don't continue to sleep," Mr Banerjee said in a short 4-and-half-minute clip released by the Nobel Committee on YouTube.
On being asked if he managed to sleep for a reasonable time after the win, he said: "Yeah, not long...I kept getting calls after a while. Once press conferences happen and news spread to India and Europe, I had no chance. I had a 40-minute interval period where I slept."
Mr Banerjee, who won the coveted Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, said the win was special, since he shares it with his colleague and spouse Esther Duflo.
"It's been an entire family enterprise in a sense, between research and working at MIT. It becomes much more pleasant when you do it with your partner," he said.
Mr Banerjee also commended the work done by several people and organisations to alleviate poverty across the globe, adding that the "lip service" paid "to the welfare of all" will always be the first thing that people focus on when the Nobel Prize is announced.
"It reflects on the fact that somehow while people often pay lip service to the welfare of all, this is something that will always be immediate focus of prize like this," he said.
Mr Banerjee believes that the Nobel Prize belonged to all the people "who do real things, not people like us."
"I really owe to those with whom we work, whose lives we study in many ways. And also the people who work with them. We've learned a huge amount from organisations like Seva Mandir and Pratham, for example. In my personal experience, these organisations work on a very large scale with very poor people," he said.
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo along with Michael Kremer won this year's Nobel Prize for Economics for their efforts in their "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty."
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and political leaders including former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated Mr Banerjee on Twitter.
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