Scores of cooperators have stressed upon the need to involve women in the cooperative movement, they cut a sorry figure when it comes to really following this through concrete steps though.
The credit goes partially to the NDA govt led by Narendra Modi and co-op titan IFFCO for initiating moves in this direction. While with a view to bringing women into the agriculture mainstream, the government has allocated more than 30% fund for women under various major programs, the IFFCO Board has announced 5% reservation for women in its RGB.
Talking to this correspondent on the phone the IFFCO MD Dr U S Awasthi said IFFCO is going to elect 50 women cooperators in its RGB (Representative General Body), elections which are currently underway. We are also going to have a woman Director on our board, he added.
The IFFCO MD also tweeted on the occasion saying “My Best Wishes on Internarional #WomensDay to every women. They are the strength & inspiration. Specially, our #WomensInAgriculture who grow food for the world silently. Let’s empower them & make a better Society”.
Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh congratulated women on the occasion of International Women’s Day and said the efforts of the government will certainly prove to be effective in strengthening the participation of women and their empowerment through agriculture.
Some of the new initiatives started by the Modi govt for women empowerment include the revised ATMA scheme which ensures the participation of women in decision-making bodies at the state, district and block levels, claims Radha Mohan.
A National Gender Resource Centre in Agriculture has developed a women sensitization module to bring about changes in the mindset and behaviour of male program operators, asserted the Minister. He also lauded the role of NCUI and said during 2017-18, 31.47 lakh women have benefited from the training programs conducted by NCUI in the field of cooperatives. Similarly, 6.07 lakh and 7000 women have benefited through KVKs and skill training programs. A total of 8.62 lakh women have received training in 2017-18.
It goes to the credit of NDA govt which decided in 2016 that every year 15th October will be celebrated as “Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas” by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
Some of the Indian women cooperators who made the co-op movement richer this year include the name of Nandani Azad, Mirai Chatterjee, Alka Shrivastava, Surekha Khot and Arti Bisaria among others. Mrs Azad, the daughter of formidable south Indian cooperator Jaya Arunachalam of WWF fame was elected to the board of the International Raiffeisen Union based in Koblenz in Germany.
Indian Cooperative hails the women cooperators for their grit and determination to excel in the otherwise male-dominated cooperative ecosystem!