Case Studies
Case Study-1 : Regional Cooperatives’ Fair brought hope
Preparation and anticipation
By the last week of February, everyone knew that this time the cooperatives’ fair would be on Adibasi Ground in the state capital Bhubaneswar. All members of Self Help Cooperatives (SHCs) from Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nabrangpur, Ganjam, Puri, and Khurdha were preparing themselves to join the fair. The Cooperative Minister, Secretary, lecturers, professors and researchers were to join so they could getinvolved and provide direction to the cooperatives. The residents of Bhubaneswarwould enjoy the exhibition, purchase the materials and products prepared by cooperatives and contribute towards the sustainability and empowerment of cooperatives. SHC partners were considering how to inform policy makers of the lacuna whilethe fair organizers Adhikar,RCDC, Vasundhara, Pragati, CCD and 14 other like-minded organizations were taking great steps to make the cooperatives’ fair attractive.

The fair
Ultimately the day came on March 16th, 2011. Thousands of participants, representing many different districts,hadarrived and were waiting for the inauguration of the long-awaited fair. Inspirational slogans were posted around the grounds. Arrangements were made for an exhibition and sale of products prepared by cooperatives in 18 stalls.

The inauguration meeting started with the chairmanship of Muhammad Amin, President of Adhikar. The then State Agriculture Minister Dr. Damodar Rout, ex-Finance Minister Mr. Panchanan Kanungo, Prof. Haribandhu Panda, Muhammad Amin, SouriBandhu Kara, Patanjali Tripathy, and Prof. Haribandhu Pattnaik, among others,inspired the cooperative members and gave examples on honesty, transparency and accountability in the process of cooperative management.

On thesecond day, each participant came to the dais one after one and shared their objectives, activities, successes, challenges and plans for the future. Ms. Sasmita Mohanty, Managing Director of M/s. Anchalik Mahila Vikash Mahasangha (AMVS), selected by RCDC, stressed the importance of bank services in the tribal dominated areas. The success of SHCs in enablingfemale empowerment was described by Women’s Commissioner Jyoti Panigrahi. Pramila Swain of NAWO, Banki Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mr. PravatTripathy anddeputy director of Agriculture Department Mr. Arun Kumar Rout, discussed about the linkages of cooperatives in agriculture.

The results
At the end of the fair, all the partners of members attended appeared to be happy with how things went. This was reflected in their faces. They gained knowledge on cooperative management, problem solving tactics and other perspectives. They returned home with the dream of managing their SHC and reaching greater successes.

The SHCs did not remain silent after going home. They had contact with other members and partners of their respective cooperatives and initiated discussions to carry forward the learning achieved at the cooperatives’ fair. Many have decided to expand their small enterprises and accept more memberships in order to extend the benefits to more members of the villages, particularly women.
Case Study-2 : How Cooperatives are playing a significant role in forest protection
Case Study-3 : Self Help Cooperatives take the initiative to ensure added value for NTFPs

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