India’s policy on cooperation is key to creating livelihood for all 

News: Recently, the Union Minister of Cooperation inaugurated a two-day national conference on India’s Cooperation Policy. In the programme, a call was made to usher-in a ‘movement for cooperation’.  

What is the concept of Cooperation?  

The draft National Policy on Cooperatives puts it this way –

Cooperation is an approach. It is a preferred instrument of execution of public policy especially in rural areas.

It refers to the attributes of community ties, collective decision-making, mutual trust, shared ownership and social responsibility. 

Importance of cooperatives/cooperation for the effectiveness of a policy as learnt from the successful implementation the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana 

The cooperatives are said to be the catalysts for social and economic progress. They can help in creating a society of self-dependent people with adequate livelihood opportunities 

They can play an important role from farming and food-processing to fisheries and self-help groups (SHGs).  

The cooperation works well when there is an affinity, mutual trust and a certain degree of affiliation among members. For example, a group of 200 women in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra have created a market for neem pesticides with their coordinated action.  

The output and the bargaining power is increased when individuals comes together for collective actions. For example, a woman group at VDVK in Jharkhand, was amazed to see the quantum of forest produce and their increased negotiating power as traders come to them to buy mahua flowers, etc. 

The promotion of co-operatives and Cooperation will lead to convergence of schemes. For example, VDVKs in Odisha and Chhattisgarh are witnessing convergence of schemes for training of beneficiaries.  

It leads to empowerment of weaker sections of society. For example, women participate in the SHG meetings. 

Way Ahead 

The PMVDY offers a classic example of how the cooperative spirit can be harnessed. Its features are important for social fulfillment and economic growth. 

A cleaner (without corruption), rule-based and more efficient cooperative system should be developed.  

Note: Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) which has been made operational under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) functions on the attributes of cooperative existence.

Source: The post is based on an article “India’s policy on cooperation is key to creating livelihood for all” published in the Live Mint on 19th Apr 22. 

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