Co-operation is a worldwide movement. Ever since the equitable pioneers of Rochdale founded their first society in 1844, the co-operative idea has spread far and wide. Raiffeisen and Schulze-Delitzech in Germany, Deone Wallemborg and Prof.Luzatin in Italy reinterpreted these principles in their application to credit. Though the forms of co-operative organization differed from country to country, the basic principles adopted by the co-operative movement everywhere were the same. The co-operative doctrine is indeed, the very basis of human civilization. Co-operation is fundamental attribute and a reality of human existence. From this fundamental has developed an economic methodology and a way of life which helped in overcoming many obstacles and mitigating the evils of imbalances and mal-adjustments. That is called the science and art of co-operation. In the fast changing world economy, co-operative initiates are necessary to provide an opportunity for people to grow into a free social and economic community.
The Co-operative sector has been playing a distinct and significant role in the process of socio-economic development of the state with special focus on rural population and livelihood. Through sustained efforts, co-operatives have made impressive progress in various segments of Indian economy particularly in agriculture credit disbursement, fertilizer distribution, procurement and distribution of agricultural commodities, promotion of consumer activities, health, dairy, fisheries, handloom, coir etc. Attempts were made to develop the movement as a self reliant one by augmenting the resources through mobilization of savings in urban and rural areas.
The co-operative movement in Kerala has a solid foundation and impressive track record in terms of financial stability and sound infrastructure to generate adequate funds. The spread and growth of co-operatives in different sectors were nurtured under development plans with Government initiative and Government finance. Kerala has a wide network of cooperatives engaged in various promotional activities such as distribution of credit, marketing, agro processing, consumer activities, public health, education, insurance and infrastructure development. There are 12996 co-operatives under the control of Registrar of Co-operative Societies, of which 10236 are functional in the various promotional activities in the sector.
The strategy adopted for the development of Co-operative sector during Xth Plan was expansion and diversification of commercial ventures in selected areas such as agro processing, marketing, storage and promotion of SHGs.
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
1. Voluntary and open membership.
2. Democratic member control.
3. Member economic participation.
4. Autonomy and Independence
5. Education, Training and Information.
6. Co-operation among co-operatives.
7. Concern for community.
Co-operative Flag :
The International Co-operative alliance has in 1925 adopted the beautiful seven coloured pattern of rainbow horizontal stripes as its international flag, the flag of co-operation, progress and peace. The Flag has seven colours, they are Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red - the colours of rainbow.
Rainbow is regarded as an auspicious omen; farmers see the rainbow and start ploughing their fields. They read in it the message about rain to come. It is thus a symbol of hope, a harbinger of peace.
Man sees co-operation in its multi-coloured pattern, each colour blending with others to make one harmonious whole and ultimately all pervading harmony - Unity in Diversity.
The seven hues of the rainbow when blended together reunite to present pure unstained white effulgence. Thus it stands for purity, truth and righteousness.
It symbolises the aims and ideals of the co-operative movement, like the rainbow, co-operation brings hope to the depressed, achieves harmony among diverse interests and offers the promise of an ultimate and universal peace.
Co-operators, by their own effort, inspired by a sense of fraternity, equity and love of social justice, strive to remedy the past and create a new economic system – a system in which capital plays the role of servant, instead of master, the object of production is organized self-help, instead of profit and human dignity is given the pride of place for achieving a more equitable and efficient economy, better social adjustment and a more balanced system of democracy.