Strengthening women co-ops: NCDC collaborates with ICNW

Cooperative lender National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) organized a workshop on ‘Strengthening women cooperatives’ in Chennai in collaboration with Indian Cooperative Network for Women which is headed by Nandini Azad –a well-known face in Delhi’s cooperative circles.

Speaking on the occasion Nandini said the promotion of cooperatives will make the economy more diverse and better equipped to provide sustainable growth and jobs to women,” she said in a mail forwarded to Indian Cooperative. Nandini is also active at ICA advocating the cause of women co-ops.

Credited for organizing one of the largest co-op networks of women in South India, Nandini and her mother Padma Awardee Jaya Arunachalam of WWF fame have received global recognition for their pioneering work. “For the rural women, cooperatives are a panacea given their invisible low-paid work, lack of access to legal protection and productive inputs. There is a need to bring about professionalism in the cooperative business models to turn them into vehicles of inclusive growth,” Dr. Azad said.

Speaking on the occasion NCDC managing director Sundeep Kumar Nayak said Tamil Nadu has a strong presence of women cooperatives. NCDC would do every bit to strengthen them, Nayak added.

D.N.Thakur, Deputy Managing Director also visited the ICNF and met its office bearers and staff discussing the future perspectives of cooperatives. Thakur felt that women when united can face any challenge.

The venue of the Workshop was Natesan Institute of Cooperative Management, Chennai, one of the ICMs of NCCT. ICNF President Nandini Azad also sought support from NCDC in terms of investment, from the government enabling environment, legal frame work for necessary member control and ownership, especially women.

Azad raised the issue such as how co-ops can promote gender equality and how women’s cooperative can take advantage of the govt schemes which have been denied to them so far. She referred to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and said gender equality is a fundamental right for women as it leads to a peaceful and prosperous world.

Indian Cooperative Network for Women is today a social movement of 1 million in three southern states of India with 14 branches spread over 3840 villages and 2426 slums in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, claims a mail sent by ICNW.