Indian Cooperative movement rests on the shoulders of a few-those few who have tried to inculcate the spirit of cooperative existence among masses without any selfish interest. The Chairman of Abhyudaya Bank Mr Sitaram C. Ghandat is one such born cooperative leader.
The story of Ghandatji’s life proves how a well-meaning person can do wonders if he has purity of intention. Ghandat was a peon in Maharashtra Assembly once upon a time. Now for the past 17 years he is its member and has been elected on independent ticket thrice.
One commands such respect only if he is innately honest and cooperative. See the credibility of this man who started Abhyudaya Cooperative bank with paltry Rs 5000 in the year 1965. And now he has taken it to the heights of Rs 11000 crores.
Ghandat is not only honest. He is visionary also. Setting up the bank in the Jhopadpatti of Ambabadi in Mumbai way bay 1965 he was struggling for collection of even Rs 10. Trying to entice factory workers to become member of Abhyudaya Bank he began giving loans—loans which could be as small as Rs 1000.
It clicked. And he went on to give small loans for buying taxis. Since then he has not looked back.
Abhyudaya Cooperative Bank is headquartered in Mumbai with 105 branches spread across many states. “We have branches in Ahmadabad, Baroda, Udipi and practically in all major towns of Maharashtra” informs Shri Ghandat to Indiancooperative.com.
“Our sole aim is to treat public money as belonging to them and be absolutely honest and transparent towards it. It is no mean achievement to have never flouted any of the RBI norms. We have bagged A Grade consistently’, said the Chairman with a deep satisfaction.
But he is not favouring Malegam Committee recommendation on two tiered management structure for Urban Cooperative banks. “I fear there would be lack of coordination and the control of the Board would weaken leading to dilution of norms so essential for smooth running of a bank”, he said.
Ghandatji, however favours RBI’s control of Urabn Cooperative banks. He supports the latest RBI move to control urban cooperative bank societies. Readers may recall that an amendment to win UCBs away from state-fold to RBI is underway in Parliament. “States unnecessarily interferes leading to road-blocks on many occasions. We would welcome RBI’s complete control”, he added.