Mainpat 27 Aug: Over 75 Tibetan co-operators including Chairmen and Secretaries of 15 co-operatives, managers and staff of Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives in India Ltd., met Monday for the 14th annual conference of Tibetan cooperatives in India.
Dr Dinesh, Chief Executive of National Cooperative Union of India presided over as a Chief Guest to mark the opening of the conference. Mr Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang, Secretary of DOH, CTA graced the function as Guest of Honour. Also present were Additional Secretary and Deputy Secretary of DOH, CTA; Local Assembly Chairman, Settlement Officer, Representative of monasteries and camp leaders were also present during the function.
Organized by FTCI and coordinated by Mainpat Co-operative Society from 25th August to 27th August, the 3-day conference is focused on achieving sustainability of Tibetan settlements in general and streamlining the operation of Tibetan cooperatives in particular.
A minute’s silence before the proceedings on the first day was observed in solidarity with martyrs who have immolated themselves for the Tibet cause.
After rendition of Tibetan and Indian national anthem and a very beautiful welcome song by children of CST Mainpat School, Mr Tashi Wangdu, FTCI CEO welcomed the guests and participants of the conference and presented a brief report on Tibetan co-operatives and FTCI. His talk also covered on upcoming projects and assistance and support given to member societies by FTCI.
While speaking about evolution of co-operative movement by Mr Pema Delek, FTCI Chairman said, “Tibetan cooperatives in India started as per the guidance of HH the Dalai Lama and policy of Central Tibetan Administration. Tibetan Cooperatives in the past failed because of irresponsibility of management of the society.” He noted that cooperatives in India run within the framework of respective State Cooperative Society and Central Cooperative Society’s Acts and Rules.
Mr Khorlatsang Sonam Topgyal, Secretary of DOH, CTA who was Guest of Honour emphasised on importance of building faith in cooperative among the share members. He said the 14th Kashag follows the same policy as previous Kashag with regard to cooperative societies.
During the function, Mr Ngawang Yeshi, owner of Ngawang Kollegal Roasted Chilly was honoured with 2014 Tibetan Entrepreneur of the Year award, and Lugsam Co-operative Society was felicitated for completing 50 years of community service.
Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and other invited Guests then picked 10 lucky student’s name from the box for Nyamdel Scholarship.
Dr Dinesh in his address said, “Tibetan Cooperatives are working much better than Indian cooperatives. 15 Tibetan Cooperatives earned a net profit of Rs. 19 million in 2012-13. In a year 2001-02, the 15 societies incurred a net loss of Rs 7 million. That is sign of improvement.”
He further said, “The objective of the cooperative is to improve quality of life. Pandit Jawarlahal Nehru had three visions for India. Those were setting up School, Phanchyat and Cooperative in every village. There are 6 lakhs cooperatives in India, which covers 25% of Indian population. Likewise 1/4th of the Tibetan population in India is also share members of 15 Tibetan cooperatives. Shri Pranab Mukerjee, President of India said, in India cooperative is becoming more relevant during a time when population is increasing and cultivable land is decreasing.
He went on to say, “It is extremely important to make the members aware of their roles, responsibilities and duties. Cooperative should make member know that they are owner of the society. Cooperatives are proved to be sustainable organization by serving people and making profit. Employment of members of the cooperative must also be one of the objectives of cooperative. Cooperative must induct young people. Younger generations are not attracted towards cooperative due to lack of branding of cooperative in India.”
Dr Dinesh said that NCUI would support training program to Tibetan societies in its campus. He then asked the conference’s participants to learn from each other during 3-day meeting.
During the conference, 15 co-operatives present their annual report and financial statement, followed by question and answer session. On the second day, review on implementation of resolutions passed in the previous meeting is being done. They have also discussed on strengthening co-operative and achieving sustainable Tibetan settlement.
Besides resolution on starting new business activities and strengthening sustainability of settlements, one of unanimous resolutions passed during the conference is to organize prayer in all the settlements in the view of HH the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, to express heartfelt gratitude, long life, and fulfillment of all the wishes of HH the Dalai Lama and for the cause of Tibet.