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International Co-Operative Day: Role of housing societies

Friday, June 30, 2017

International Co-Operative Day is being observed tomorrow. On the occasion, Vishwasrao Sakpal looks at the history, significance and objectives of co-operative housing societies in Maharashtra

International Co-operative Day is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement observed on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance. “Co-operatives ensure no one is left behind” is the (theme) slogan of the 2017 International Day of Co-operatives.
Co-operatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Co-operatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern co-operative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.

While focusing on member needs, co-operatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programmes accepted by the members, Co-operatives around the world celebrate the day in many ways. We also celebrate International Co-operative Day in our way. The activities include, exhibitions, contests, workshops, lectures and seminars focused on the topics related to the day. Some of the day's goals are to increase awareness on co-operatives as well as strengthen our co-operative movement.

Maha co-operation
Maharashtra is a most progressive state in the co-operative agitation in the country. Beginning of the co-operative agitation in India starts from making available loan to the farmers for agriculture. Thereafter, extension and development of this agitation has been spread in various fields. At present, we experience the direct or indirect relation of co-operation beginning from the morning tea, sugar, milk to fruits, vegetables and loan for various reasons. As on today, there are approximately 2,75,000 co-operative societies in Maharashtra State out of which 90,000 are housing societies. It means numerically housing societies are more in number than any other society.

Housing society is such type of society where the members of the society stay with their family day and night in each others' close contact / company. This type of close contact is not found in any other type of society. Therefore, it is experienced that the complaints of housing societies arise out of human nature, behaviour, egoism, anger, greed, etc. Therefore, provisions made in laws, bye-laws are not sufficient to solve their problems but to knowledge of the human nature and behaviour is necessary.

Model bye-laws
Incidental to that, the model bye-laws were prepared in the year 2001-2002 for the co-operative housing societies as a part of the efforts to solve the complaints by studying the housing societies questions and complaints received from time to time. The recent model bye-laws (UPVIDHI) has been published in the year 2014.

Due to fast urbanisation process, need of the houses increased and it has become difficult day by the day to construct houses with own expenses by coming together and purchasing land. Therefore, the main purpose of the co-operative housing societies has become to make available facilities of residence by constructing houses for the members.

The first
The Saraswat Co-operative Housing Society Limited is the first co-operative housing society, which was registered in the year 1915 at Gavdevi, Mumbai, by S.S.Talmakhi, being the chief promoter of said society. This society was the role model for the management of various activities including the members under one roof and in a democratic way.

Objectives of the co-operative housing society

  1. To obtain conveyance from the owner / promoter builder, in accordance with the provisions of the act and the rules made there under, of the right title and interest, in the land with building thereon.
  2. To manage, maintain and administer the property of the society.
  3. To raise funds for achieving the objects of the society.
  4. To undertake and provide for, on its own account or jointly with a co-operative activities.
  5. To provide Co-operative Education and Training to develop co-operative skills of its members, managing committee members and employees of the society.
  6. To do all the things, necessary or expedient for the attainment of the objects of the society as specified in the model bye-laws.
  7. To undertake all the functions related to the administration of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act 1960 and Rules 1961 - including registration of co-operatives, supervision of co-operatives, statutory audit, structural audit and elections of co-operatives.
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