Bangalore, January 19, 2013: The closing session of the 4th National Conference of Sahakar Bharati was held at National College Grounds, Bangalore. The valedictory address was delivered by Shri. Suresh Prabhu, veteran co-operator and former Union Minister. This was followed by blessings conferred by Dr. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari, Shri Kshetra, Dharmasthala.

Sathish Marathe, National President of Sahakar Bharati delivering the inaugural address.

Sathish Marathe, National President of Sahakar Bharati delivering the inaugural address.

Addressing the audience, Dr. Veerendra Heggade said that the audience at the conference represented the true face of Bharat Mata. “Real India is seen here. People from all parts of the country have gathered here, without any divisive feelings, with the sole spirit of being the children of Bharat Mata. This dedication is what has contributed to the betterment of the nation. This dedication should continue to contribute towards national growth as well.”

“We had a glorious past. But in between we suffered at the hands of foreigners, who treated us in the worst possible manner. But after the freedom struggle, after we became independent, we have been the envy of many of our neighbouring countries. But the way we have stood up, united, has ensured that we are never down cast.” said Dr Heggade.

Coming to the topic of Sahakar Bharati, Dr. Heggade gave the example of Campco, which has been a colossal relief for farmers from Karnataka and Kerala. Campco has been a pioneer in bringing forth innovative methods of farming and methods of cultivation. He also made a mention of the NGO (Sri Dharmasthala Grameenabhivruddhi Yojane) under him, working towards Grameena Vikas. “I share this experience because we are close to the co operative movement. The NGO has 2400000 self help groups. Our aim is making the farmers self sufficient and catering to women empowerment. Our slogan:  Be Partners in Progress, says it all. The message we convey is this- search for the avatara within yourself, to rescue your own self, instead of waiting for an external hand. This will help in real development, where as any dependence on others will lead to stunted growth.”

“Co operative movement has made micro-financing a successful feature, where every person , however poor he is, is entitled for a loan. Therefore our aim is to make every member of the society, a member of the movement. For this, we request the Ministry of Rural Development to recognize the programme as their own. We request the heads of these movements to conduct personal visits to villages and see for themselves the condition of the villages and empathize with them, so as to help them the best possible way.” said Dr Heggade.

Earlier, delivering the final address, Shri. Suresh Prabhu likened the audience to the gathering at Kumbh Mela. “It is heartening to see the entire crowd that was present on the first day remaining throughout the 3 days, right till the end of the programme. This has been made possible only because of the commitment of each person towards Sahakar Bharati. It is only because of the dedication and loyalty shown by the co operators that Sahakar Bharati has branched out so successfully. Let us make it our goal to fill up these gaps successfully.”

Nearly 5000 delegates participating in this 2 day conclave.

Nearly 5000 delegates participating in this 2 day conclave.

“The accomplishment of co operators is not because of a legal aspect, but because of the ideology and philosophy behind it. The presence of the soul behind its implementation and execution is what has contributed to its success. Aid from the government and the sacrificial attitude of noble souls have also gone a long way into the success of Sahakar Bharati.”

“The current scenario in India is that a person with least income has to pay maximum tax, where as giant industrial groups have been known to have successfully evaded tax payment for several years at a stretch,” said Shri. Prabhu, observing that the present government at the centre seemed to measure progress by the number of people possessing a mobile phone. “We must find ways of catering to the basic needs of people, along with facilitating electricity, water and health at village level. Sahakar Bharati must have this as the aim, along with the promotion of Samskaar in every nook and corner of the nation.”

The programmes connected with the closing session began at 3.30 pm, with a Sahkar song. The welcome speech was delivered by Dr. Manjunath Gowda. The introductory address was given by Shri. Satish Marathe, National President of Sahakar Bharati.

Report by Vineetha Menon for www.samvada.org