THE CO-OPERATIVE MOVEMENT AND THE INDIAN FARMER

Write four connected paragraphs on THE CO-OPE- RATIVE MOVEMENT AND THE INDIAN FARMER’.

[ Ideas to be developed : Introduction-history of co-operative movement-co-operative movement in India-how it can benefit the Indian farmer.]

THE CO-OPERATIVE MOVEMENT AND THE
INDIAN FARMER

‘God helps those who help themselves’ is the principle on which the Co-operative Movement has been established. It is a perfectly democratic movement which shows democracy in actual working. The strength of this movement lies in the union of human beings which is formed to realise certain ideals of life. This movement, in fact, enriches life materially, morally and spiritually.

It was in England that the idea of co-operation was first worked. Robert Owen, the great pioneer of socialism. estab-lished the first co-operative society. Today co-operation is widely spread. It is a self-governed system and is organised for the mutual benefit of its members. There is no place of capitalists in this movement. It is essentially a moral movement based on the principles of self-help, thrift and mutual help. Although it begins with a programme of economic betterment, it inculcates certain moral values in the persons taking part in this programme.

In India the co-operative movement was began in the beginning of this century. Its primary aim was to ease rural indebtedness. For this purpose Co-operative Credit Societies were established following the act of 1904 which framed the rules and laws governing such societies. This act aimed at encouraging thrift and self-help among farmers, artisans and persons of small means through co-operative credit societies. Afterwards changes were made to enlarge the sphere of co- operation for such purposes as distribution, marketing, produc-tion, insurance, house-building, etc.

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It is evident from the above that the benefits to be derived from co-operation are manifold. To the Indian farmer, in particular, co-operation is the only salvation. He needs capital for buying agricultural implements, for paying off his debts, and also for current and recurring expenses. He needs to be freed from the exploitation of middlemen who take away the great part of his earnings. This he can only do with the help of co-operative stores and marketing societies. Thus he can get credit and distributing facilities from co-operation. Farming, sanitation, education, the settling of various disputes and cultural activities are some of the problems which are directly related to the betterment of the farmer’s life. All these can be solved by the agency of co-operative organisations. Multi-purpose societies for these various requirements need to be Hence the social reformers say that the question established of social uplift is closely related with the spread of co-operation.

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