Co-operative Movement in India
The co-operative movement has a great significance. It is the best system to extend financial help to the working body to execute the planned work. This is helpful for smooth progress in the work specially of petty dimension in respect of farmers, small scale industrialists, and those who are doing the works with manual art like handicrafts. The co-operative society makes finance available for handloom works, hand mills and such works as are carried out through handiwork and are of industrial nature. Financial requirement is very essential to achieve the target in the work which is being fulfilled through co-operative movement for agriculture, small industries, handiworks, marketing and consumer’s circle. India is a country of villages. Majority of the people are living in rural areas. Their occupation is agriculture and other works, which they are doing as skilled tradesmen. They are manufacturing the things as a handicraft giving them attraction and utility. They are supplying the items to the consumers’ market as valuable items for getting a good return out of that. The financial co-operation is very useful to promote the handicraft and agricultural work, which is the basic requirement in a country like India, where the major portion of the population depends on such work.
It is a kind of system which is formulated for solving the common difficulties of the people. Under this system a group of people work in a co-operation and form an organisation, which is commonly called a co-operative society. Such organisation is established voluntarily. They act on some fundamental principles. All the members who join such organisation as per their will are treated equally and have equal responsibility and jurisdiction. They work strictly according to a democratic constitution. All the members of the society work closer to each other. These societies were started in India after independence in small localities so that the members knew each other with better understanding to enable them to teach the people with their joint efforts suitably about the working and economy.
The scope of co-operation has become very wide in modern times. The co-operative societies are helpful for every purpose of life in the rural areas in particular. They are helping consumers, and there, they are called consumer’s co-operatives. Where they extend financial services in the field of agriculture, there they are known as agricultural credit societies. These societies are helping the farmers in many ways. They help in disposing of crops in the man dies, extending financial help for constructing tube-wells, levelling and improving land and extending canals from adjoining rivers. The basic aim of providing financial support is to bring reform in that direction.
The co-operative societies have wide range of jurisdiction. They are extending financial co-operation also to cities and industrial towns for housing, expansion of industries including handloom and Khadi industries. The co-operative societies have a vast role to set up and promote the industries in urban areas. This movement is quite successful in India.
There are additional advantages of co-operative societies. The co-operative societies are helping to eliminate the middle men and avoiding the victimization and blackmailing which is generally happening mainly in the rural areas. The co-operative societies are financing the needy people at low rates of interest. The members of the society work in a co-operative manner for maintaining the reputation of the society. In India, co-operative movement has proved as a morally advantageous one by virtue of its fast and fair dealings. Furthermore, the co-operative societies have worked also in the direction of education and social work with a successful record. The advantages of the co-operative movement are multiple for the people of a developing country like India.
The co-operative societies can be made more familiar and helpful with wide awareness among the people. There is a requirement to set up a system to educate the illiterate masses about the utility of co-operative societies. There is a necessity to discharge more by playing voluntary role by the members of the society. The co-operation and assistance of provincial Government from time to time will boost the functioning of co-operative societies. It will be in the wider interest of the poor masses.
The past experience teaches us to take remedial measures to make the co-operative movement more effective in India. The credit should be advanced only for productive purposes. A system of periodical check should be exercised to ensure correct utilization of the credit and avoid misuse. The members should be educated and made competent to understand the basic principles for playing an effective role. The co-operation should be applicable for more and more purposes, concerning the progress of the people of the country. The expansion in the jurisdiction of co-operative movement will promote its image too. In India there is a vast scope for the expansion of co-operative movement as there are favourable conditions available in our country. Every effort should be made at all levels to make the movement more successful.