Six people, including a retired official of the Cooperation Department, have been chosen for the Sahakara Ratna awards to be presented during the inaugural function of the Cooperation Week here on Thursday.

Speaking to presspersons here, Cooperation Minister H.S. Mahadeva Prasad said that a committee comprising himself, Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnataka Cooperative Federation Chairman G.T. Deve Gowda and Cooperation Secretary C. Somashekhar selected the winners out of 140 entries.

While one each was selected from each one of the revenue divisions, one was selected from Bangalore Urban region and one from among retired officials of the department, he said.

The winners include Shekharagouda Virupakshagouda Mali Patil, president, District Cooperative Union, Koppal, from Gulbarga division; D.R. Patil, former MLA, Gadag, from Belgaum division; M.N. Rajendra Kumar, president, Dakshina Kannada District Central Cooperative (DCC) Bank, from Mysore Division; K.N. Rajanna, Madhugiri MLA and president of Tumkur DCC Bank, from Bangalore Division; S.T. Somashekar, Yeshwanthpur MLA and president of Karnataka State Cooperative Housing Federation, from Bangalore Urban, and C.N. Parashivamurthy, retired additional registrar of cooperative societies from the department.

Mr. Prasad said that each one of the individuals chosen for the award has contributed immensely to the cooperative movement while denying suggestions that all were Congress functionaries. The award carries a gold-coated 100 gram silver medal, Rs. 50,000 in cash and a certificate.

The awards would be presented by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at Gollarahatti on Magadi Road near Bangalore on November 14.

While the theme of the Cooperation Week is “Cooperative institutes for rejuvenation of economic and social life in the backdrop of changing times”, the inaugural would feature cooperative housing day for better living.

Cooperation Week will be celebrated at Chikmaglur on November 15, at Sirsi on November 16, at Gulbarga on November 17, at Kolar on November 18, at Koppal on November 19 and at Gundlupet on November 20.

Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr. Somashekhar were present.

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