IRU expresses solidarity with women affected by flooding in South India

In a notable development recently, the Presidium, the Board of Directors of the Raiffeisen International Union and President Franky Depickere expressed their solidarity with the poor women cooperators of the Indian Women’s Cooperative Network, their loss of livelihood and lives in recent floods in southern India.

This is the first time that major international cooperative networks have taken note of “the impact of climate change on the poor. The IRU is the oldest Cooperative Union in the world with members from 53 countries, a press release informs.

Thanking them on this occasion, Dr Nandini Azad, global board member of the International Raiffeisen Union, highlighted the role of the Indian Cooperative Network for Women (ICNW) and the Working Women’s Forum (India) (WWF- I) to meet the challenge of human misery. in South India.

Dr Azad appreciated the gesture of IRU President Franky Depickere and Secretary General Andreas Kappes who congratulated ICNW for organizing the side event of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW65) in March 2021.

Dr Azad also thanked the IRU and her team for making a short film on the role and contributions of the founding daughter Raiffeisen to women in the global cooperative movement.

In his presentation on the cooperative movement in India, Dr Azad said that the new Ministry of Cooperatives in India, led by Amit Shah, has announced plans to help primary cooperatives at the village level accomplish a lot.

Azad discussed several suggestions she made regarding the pandemic at a meeting hosted by India’s Niti Aayog think tank on “Just Recovery”. She also mentioned the activities undertaken by the women cooperators working with her to deal with the corona pandemic.

During the meeting, she stressed that health is not the only solution to counter Covid-19, but that financial inclusion is the most critical / important. “No money; no food; poor women often could not get vaccinated because they would lose a day’s wages. A new dimension of cooperatives and financial inclusion in the country’s health and pandemic policy, that is, the “just recovery process” is very vital, she stressed.

She also spoke about the Covid Heroines of the Indian Cooperative Network for Women (ICNW), that is to say of the program of micro-entrepreneurs “women warriors” who were fighting against the pandemic, that is to say Covid -19. The winners received rewards, that is, 35-year-old lenders who had never defaulted on their loan repayments, nor asked for a moratorium but a rescheduling. These were vegetable vendors / hawkers / micro entrepreneurs who had trained their children as Engineers, MBAs and Doctors outside of Diversified Business due to their long term engagement with ICNW.

IRU coordinator Korbinian Marx highlighted the program for the coming year and the success of the “IRU connect program (with 7 members of IRU organizations). The Raiffeisen Ambassador training program was to be organized jointly with CERA in Belgium, the impact of social media to propagate the values, beliefs of the founder Raiffeisen had been very successful during the year of the lockdowns. The meeting ended with thanks to the President, Secretary General, Coordinator, members, DGRV and others.

Several officials from cooperatives, including IRU Secretary-General Kappes, Ms. Daniela Bas, United Nations focal point on cooperatives, Director UNDESA, Ms. Simel Esim, Head of ILO cooperatives, and others took goes to the event.

Virginia S. Braud