Empower women to attain self-sufficiency: official

WOMEN POWER: Kannada actresses Pramila Joshai (right) and Abhinaya looking at the products at the exhibition organised on the occasion of beneficiaries' conference of women cooperative societies in Shimoga on Saturday.  

Special Correspondent

Calls for greater participation of women in cooperative societies

SHIMOGA: Managing Director of the National Cooperative Development Corporation, New Delhi, P. Umashankar on Saturday emphasised the need for empowering women to help them attain self-sufficiency.

He was addressing the beneficiaries' conference and exhibition organised by the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) as part of its Cooperative Education and Development Project for women and the IFFCO Foundation in association with Karnataka State Cooperative Federation, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative, District Central Cooperative Bank, District Cooperative Union and District Milk Producers' Cooperative Societies Union Shimoga.

Mr. Umashankar said that it is only through institutionalisation of credit system for women, particularly in rural areas, that they could be engaged in self-employment and income generating activities, enabling them to exhibit their innate talents.

Progress of scheme

Expressing satisfaction over the progress of women beneficiaries under various activities being implemented in the district under the project, he said that the formation of 480 self-help groups with a membership of over 7,000 is a notable achievement.

Mr. Umashankar called for greater participation of women in cooperative societies.

He praised the initiative taken by a veteran cooperative leader and former Chairman of the NCUI B.S. Vishwanathan in the implementation of the project.

Chief Officer of the NCUI Bhagawati Prasad, who released a book on the achievements of the project, said that while women's participation in panchayat raj institutions is satisfactory, it is not in the case of the cooperative institutions.

Though there are nearly five lakh cooperative institutions in the country, women's participation in them not proportionate to their population, Mr. Prasad added.

He called for the enrolment of women in cooperative societies in a bigger way.

Joint Secretary and Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Government of India, Satish Chandar, called upon women to play a more constructive role in society.

Kannada film actress Pramila Joshai, who inaugurated an exhibition organised on the occasion, called upon women to show their creativity in fine arts. She said women cooperative societies should come together and put in efforts to get a better deal for women.

Actress Abhinaya said that it is only by purchasing products made by the women cooperatives that they could be encouraged.

Adviser to IFFCO Foundation A.K. Dikshit, the former Minister for Kannada and Culture Leeladevi R. Prasad, Managing Director of Karnataka State Cooperative Federation B.K. Subhashchandra, President of the Shimoga District Central Cooperative Bank R.M. Manjunathgowda, President of the zilla panchayat Bharathi Manjunathaiah, vice-president of the Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society Narasimha Nayak, Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies Eshwaraswamy were among those who present on teh occasion.

Earlier, B.S. Vishwanathan outlined the activities of the Cooperative Education and Development Project for Women being implemented in the district.

Awards were presented to the best self-help groups, the best exhibit at the exhibition, the best milk producers' women's society, the best self-help groups federation, the best women's multipurpose cooperative society and the best working vikas vahini group.