Fourth national conference of Sahakar Bharati in Bengaluru?
“THE workers in the cooperatives should not have any personal ambition other than working for the welfare of the society. Each cooperative should abide by the law and also maintain blemish-less accounts. To make it a much stronger movement, each cooperative worker should lead by example. Each worker of the Sahakar Bharati has to vow that they will work towards involving each and every person in the society, even if the individual’s work is recognised or not,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat while inaugurating the fourth national conference of Sahkar Bharati in Bengaluru on January 18.
Over 800 women delegates also attended the Conference. More than 1000 delegates from various co-operatives of Karnataka participated in the Conference. The main dais was named as ‘Laxmanrao Inamdar Vedika’ after Laxmanrao Inamdar who is pioneer of the Sahakar Bharati movement. The theme of the conference was ‘Cooperatives for National Renaissance’.
Shri Bhagwat exhorted the workers to understand the purpose of the movement deeply if they wish to make the work effective. “Though cooperation is a word and concept emerged in the West, our word is sahayog and sahakar. Our understanding is that everyone who does good to all others will attain moksh and that is our dharma and we should strive to make this a part of our life. This should inspire us to work for the welfare of all. After 1857 war, there was a debate on the contribution of the British. Everyone agreed that British brought many things into India. But Akbar Ilahabadi said that British brought postal system, railways, and industries but made Indians into workers who work for them for their entire life and finally take pension and retire. But our work should be for the establishment of dharma as said in the Bhagavad Gita,” he said.
He further said that our work should be to unite people and not to separate them. Everyone is a citizen of this nation. A dalit, a Brahmin, and everyone else belong to this one nation. This should be our inspiration and this should also drive the cooperative movement. The ultimate aim of all our work is that we all attain the absolute freedom. It is only a human who can strive towards such kind of freedom. But this cannot be taken as an individual’s freedom to do anything. It is the collective freedom that all humans have to achieve by being self-sufficient. This is possible only by co-operation. This is not an opportunistic alliance but a tool to achieve self-sufficiency and freedom for all, he added.
Chief Minister of Karnataka, Jagdish Shettar, said the Sahakar Bharati is doing a good job to keep the movement running successfully. He said the Karnataka Government has taken lot of measures to aid the farming community and milk cooperatives in the state. 36,000 co-operative societies are operating in the state and 15 lakh people are employed in these co-operatives.
Shri Ananth Kumar, MP, stressed the need not to politicise the cooperative movement but let it remain a nationalistic movement. He said 30 lakh people of the country are dependent on 6 lakh co-operatives. But the government is bent upon including them in DTC and income tax ambit.
Sahakar Bharati president Satish Marathe said everyone should oppose the Direct Tax Code (DTC) vehemently, because local skills and local economy would be obliterated if it comes into force. He opined that cooperatives should get operational freedom and level-playing field and they should work towards improving their economies. He said they are also focusing on production on milk and reducing costs and make it affordable. He said affordable housing was the need of the hour. Housing sector financing is insufficient and ineffective. Financial inclusion not a reality yet for millions of Indians, he said. He said only 1700 urban banks are present, which is insufficient for the country. RBI has to alter its policy for creating new banks. He said we need to focus on depository insurance for cooperatives. Number of SHGs, joint-liability groups has to be increased.
The late Lakshmanrao Inamdar Sahkarita Award was conferred upon Shri Deepak Kumar Barthakur, founder of Samay Urban Cooperative Bank in Assam. The late Lakshmanrao Inamdar was from Maharashtra and a lawyer by profession. A swayamsevak from childhood was the pioneer of the co-operative movement. He gave the vision of a value-based and an ethical co-operative movement in the country.
The valedictory speech was delivered by Shri Suresh Prabhu, veteran co-operator and former Union Minister. This was followed by blessings conferred by Dr Veerendra Hegade, Dharmadhikari, Shri Kshetra, Dharmasthala. Dr Veerendra Heggade said.
“Co operative movement has made micro-financing a successful feature, where every person, however poor he is, is entitled for a loan. Therefore, our aim is to make every member of the society, a member of the movement. For this, we request the Ministry of Rural Development to recognise the programme as their own. We request the heads of these movements to conduct personal visits to villages and see for themselves the condition of the villages and empathise with them, so as to help them the best possible way.” In the Conference Shri Sathish Marathe was re-elected as national president on January 19.
(Prashanth Vaidyaraj and Vineetha Menon for VSK Karnataka)