Monday, August 8, 2022

Cooperatives build a better world

2nd July is the International Day of Cooperatives

When we are united and work together then there is always more possibilities of achieving success than working individually. When it comes to team work and people centric association then we hear the word cooperatives. We should be aware that more than 12% of humanity is part of any of the 3 million cooperatives in the world; the largest 300 cooperatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2,034.98 billion USD according to World Cooperative Monitor 2020. It also tells us that cooperatives employ 280 million people across the globe (10% of the world’s employed population).
A cooperative is defined in the Statement on the Cooperative Identity as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.” The best part is that cooperatives are people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations and it brings people together in a democratic and equal way.
Cooperatives allow people to take control of their economic future and, because they are not owned by shareholders, the economic and social benefits of their activity stay in the communities where they are established. Profits generated are either reinvested in the enterprise or returned to the members.
Co-operatives also foster external equality. As they are community-based, they are committed to the sustainable development of their communities – environmentally, socially and economically. The cooperative movement is highly democratic, locally autonomous, but internationally integrated, and a form of organization of associations and enterprises whereby citizens themselves rely on self-help and their own responsibility to meet goals that include not only economic, but also social and environmental objectives, such as overcoming poverty, securing productive employment and encouraging social integration.
Cooperative Principles
• Voluntary and Open Membership
• Democratic Member Control
• Member Economic Participation
• Autonomy and Independence
• Education, Training, and Information
• Cooperation among Cooperatives
• Concern for Community
The International Cooperative Alliance unites, represents and serves cooperatives worldwide. Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations and one of the largest ones measured by the number of people represented.
The earliest record of a co-operative comes from Scotland on March 14, 1761. In 1844 a group of 28 artisans working in the cotton mills in north of England established the first modern co-operative business.
On July 2, cooperatives all around the world will celebrate the 100th International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay). A decade on from the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives, which showcased the unique contribution of cooperatives to making the world a better place, this year’s #CoopsDay slogan — “Cooperatives Build a Better World”— echoes the theme of the International Year.
List of few National Co-operative Societies in India are as follows : National Cooperative Land Development Banks Federation Limited; National Federation of State Cooperative Banks Limited; National Cooperative Union of India Limited; National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited; National Cooperative Consumer’s Federation of India Limited; National Federation of Industrial Cooperative Limited; National Cooperative Housing Federation Limited; Indian Farmer’s Fertiliser Cooperative Limited; All India Federation of Cooperative Spinning Mills Limited; All India Industrial Cooperative Banks Federation Limited; National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India Limited; National Heavy Engineering Cooperative Limited; All India Handloom Fabrics Marketing Cooperative Society Limited; National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Limited; Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited; National Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperative Limited; National Federation of Labour Cooperative Limited; National Cooperative Tobacco Growers Federation Limited; Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited.
If planned and executed with the true spirit of the cooperatives then it can enhance in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From fighting hunger and poverty it can also help in bringing sustainable transformation in developing nations or even developed nations when it comes to combating climate change. The day brings the opportunity to focus on the importance of cooperatives and its contribution to humanity.
Ranjan K Baruah
Guwahati, Assam

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