Fulfilling his promise of closing the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the star fertiliser cooperative IFFCO with a world class grand finale event, IFFCO’s MD Dr U S Awasthi ensured the event is made an unforgettable experience for those who were present during the celebrations at Kalol in Gujarat on Friday.
Remembering IFFCO’s past heroes by employing high-tech cinematographic techniques, the event showcased IFFCO’s achievements on the one hand and panoramic Indian rural culture on the other. If audience were thrilled with Bollywood numbers they were also treated with Gudi Parva or Makr Sankranti –rural folk dance and music.
The programme which lasted more than four hours on the sprawling lawn of Kalol township were planned to the minutest details. The who’s who of the cooperative world have assembled to witness and greet on the 50th birthday of the world’s largest fertilizer cooperative as ICA President Monique Leroux captured the mood by tweeting” I extend my most sincere congratulations to @IFFCO_PR’s cooperators on their 50th birthday!
While Leroux posted a video message on youtube congratulating IFFCO on the occasion, ICA D G Charles Gould and ICA AP Regional Director Balu Aiyer came in person to convey international appreciation to the pride of Indian Cooperative movement IFFCO.
Scores of international guests participated as did domestic cooperators. The show might be that of IFFCO but the participation was that of the entire cooperative fraternity. From Chandra Pal Singh to Sahakar Bharati officials, from Gujarat cooperators like Dileepbhai Sanghani to Bihar cooperators such as Sunil Kumar Singh- all treated the event as their own. It was a unique show of cooperative oneness!
And to enhance the mood of bonhomie and warmth, there were several firsts in this cooperative function such as Golden Jubilee Column, 3D Project Mapping on dress, Laser Show, captivating Coffee Table Book, etc.
The thrilled audience remained spell-bound as they had perhaps never experienced such an exotic audio-visual treat. And to add spice to the show Raju Srivastava, the famous comedian was there. As ususal he regaled the audience with his performance.
It was also an occasion to say thank you to those who helped make IFFCO as we see it today. Led by IFFCO’s Chairman B S Nakai, a team comprising of MD, Joint MD and Kalol Unit Head felicitated foreign partners of IFFCO- which has expanded its business to various countries in the last 50 years.
Also those in the country who ever lent a helping hand to IFFCO were not forgotten. NCUI helped IFFCO in forming a small group of co-op societies in 1967 and so its current President Dr Chandra Pal Singh was felicitated. And those who are presently contributing to the cooperative movement were also honored on the occasion.
IFFCO MD also made a brief but charged speech. He called farmers, cooperatives and employees of IFFCO pillars on which the success of today’s IFFCO rests. Farmers are at the core of values that IFFCO represents, he said in an emotionally choked voice.
Remembering the first Chairman Late Shri Uday Bhan and first MD Paul Botham Awasthi paid glowing tributes to their contributions. They experimented with an idea that is IFFCO today before you, he added.
Awasthi also thanked them for their suggestion on keeping the professional management at arm’s length from the elected representatives. It is being strictly followed till date at IFFCO, he added.
“An institution has a goal at any given time and that gets revised with the passage of time. After 50 years we paused and thought what next and the first thought that hit us was empowerment of farmers through modern techniques and thus a massive campaign to connect Bharat with India began”, MD traced the story behind his Indian Digital Platform.
Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a digital India he said IFFCO’s contribution would make efforts towards making digital Bharat a success. He thanked the Board for allowing him to undertake this journey which took him to every nook and corner of the country. He feels greatly rewarded as more than 2.5 crore farmers have been connected through the digital platform.
The high-voltage event also saw bestowing of Sahakarita Ratna award on Sahakar Bharati President Jyotindra Mehta and Sahakar Bandhu award on Ramesh Vaidya.