International Year of Cooperative as declared by United Nations for the year 2012 is being celebrated across the globe. Governments and cooperative institutions are funding studies to arrive at scientific conclusions about cooperatives.
In a voting conducted by Indiancooperative.com on the question of the role of National Cooperative Union of India in IYC so far, surprisingly majority opinion goes in favour of NCUI doing enough for IYC.
On the ground the experience, however seems to suggest the opposite.
NCUI’s has been trying to hold a Cooperative Congress on the eve of International Year of cooperative but there have been few takers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was approached to inaugurate the function refused to grace the occasion. The President of India, herself a cooperator and a former governing council member on the board of NCUI, also has made excuse about having preoccupations.
Disappointed, NCUI approached Union Agriculture and cooperation minister Sharad Pawar who also reportedly refused.Now the big question haunting NCUI is how to find a person whose persona fits the occasion.
NCUI itself does not appear focused enough. With its President entangled in arbitration and a Chief Executive busy attending meetings overseas things do not seem to move in the right direction. Over and above, the Chief Executive’s frequent trips to Pune where he goes to discharge his duties as VAMNICOM Head leaves him with little time and energy for NCUI.
An example of NCUI’s retarded response could be gauged from the fact that while International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) tied up with Indiancooperative.com way back in October last to strengthen the cooperative movement on the eve of IYC, a similar proposal has been gathering dust with NCUI for the past three months. With President having been caught up in Uttar Pradesh elections there is no one to take decisions at the apex organization.
It also shows that NCUI is not being taken seriously by the government. While Presidents and heads of states in other countries are vieing to inaugurate Cooperative Congress on the eve of IYC 2102, it is a sad story back home especially when we are being incessantly told that the cooperative movement here is the strongest riding on the support of 250 million members.