A virtual seminar was organized by NCUI which called for, among other things, immediate efforts to create ”Cooperative Disaster Management Fund” to meet the challenge posed by the corona pandemic in the country.
The topic of the seminar was ‘Role of Cooperatives in Tackling Covid 19. The event was attended by several MDs of national level cooperative federations.
There was a consensus at the seminar that the proposed fund should be made with matching contributions from GOI, NCUI, major national level, state and district cooperative federations.
Speaking at the event, N Satya Narayana, Chief Executive, NCUI said PACs and MARKFEDs should ensure that vegetables and fruits produced by the farmers in rural areas are made available in the market. Govt must lend a helping hand for the same, he added. While lauding the govt for allowing farm-activities Satyanarayan said fisheries and dairy products should also be helped to find suitable markets. These efforts would also help kickstart the economy, he added.
In his remarks KC Supekar, MD, National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India said dairy cooperatives have responded very well to the crisis by following social distancing, sanitation measures and ensuring all steps for uninterrupted supply of milk to the consumers.
Addressing the seminar, Mukesh Kumar, MD Kendriya Bhandar said that Kendriya Bhandar through its retail outlets and mobile vans has stepped up its efforts to provide basic commodities to the people of all sections of society. He said Kendriya Bhandar has made all efforts to acquaint people with various govt guidelines for social distancing and hygiene measures.
B K Mishra, MD, FISHCOFED said fishery cooperatives have been very much affected due to coronavirus, and there has been a dip in business of sale of fish as there is shortage of customers. He said the government should come up with a special package for the fishery sector, and he sought financial help from NCUI and other cooperative organizations.
Kishore Kumar TK, Chief Project Coordinator, ULCCS suggested creation of Cooperative Disaster Fund under the aegis of NCUI. He said ULCCS which is the second most employment provider in the state of Kerala has started community kitchens to provide food to the needy people, and has provided IT support to the Kerala government.
Dr Harish Gena, Chief Project Manager, IFFDC highlighted the various social initiatives taken by IFFDC projects at the grassroots level to tackle the crisis. The webinar, the first of its type, saw good participation as around 60 officials from the cooperative sector and faculty members were present on the occasion. Sanjay Verma, Dy Director (PR) NCUI and Sandhya Kapoor, Dy Director (IT) NCUI coordinated the program.