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Co-operative social enterprises are key to Kerala’s growth: Thomas Isaac

  • CNM Reporter

Vatakara, October 12 : Social enterprises like co-operative societies can play a key role in the present juncture of Kerala’s growth, said Dr. TM Thomas Isaac. Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS), which has grown from a workers’ collective to a total solutions provider is a model to be emulated in this aspect. Paleri Kanaran Master, former President of ULCCS, had made significant contributions towards the evolution of ULCCS, he observed. Dr. Thomas Isaac was speaking at the Paleri Kanaran Master Memorial Function held at Sargalaya Arts and Crafts Village, Iringal. Paleri Kanaran Master passed away on October 12, 1984 while in Thiruvananthapuram in his official capacity as President of ULCCS.

Co-operative investment is as important as external investment, public sector investment and domestic and private investment, including start-ups, at this stage of large-scale construction and the emergence of innovative enterprises based on it, Dr. Isaac observed. Dr. Isaac, author of the Building Alternatives, a research book on the Society, recalled that it was the innovations and foresight of Paleri Kanaran Master, its longtime President, that enabled the Uralungal Labor Society to become a model.

The Society grew during the 32 year long tenure of Paleri Kanaran Master, said Dr. Thomas Isaac. He nurtured ULCCS by raising membership, introducing new methods of membership and increasing capital, and brought in conditions to keep the Society under the democratic control of the workers. Directors should be employed and meet daily to review the work, plan follow-up, audit and write detailed minutes, according to the system established by him. The total revenue was increased by expanding the scope of work and quoting competing contracts. Through this, Kanaran Master ensured adequate wages and welfare for the entire workforce to improve their jobs and their lives. A portion of the proceeds began to be reinvested in the Society to create the growth necessary to further enhance the welfare of the workers. It was used to create assets such as quarries and crushers and thus to ensured backward integration.

Dr. Thomas Isaac pointed out that the Society, which has grown tremendously through such brilliant innovations, has today become a world-class social enterprise by becoming a service provider diversifying into all kinds of services.

Every worker should become a brand ambassador to bring the true image of the Society and its glory to the entire people, said Prof. TP Kunhikannan delivering the memorial address.

ULCCS Vice-Chairman VK Ananthan presided over the function. Director P Prakasan presented the memorandum. Directors MM Surendran, Valsan C, M Padmanabhan, PK Suresh Babu, KTK Aji, KT Rajan, Shijin TT, Managing Director S Shaju, ULCCS CEO Sunilkumar Ravi, Sargalaya CEO Bhaskaran PP, ULCCS Foundation Director Dr. MK Jayaraj, Indian Institute of Infrastructure and Construction Director Dr. Sunilkumar, ULCCS CGM Rohan Prabhakar, Matter Lab AGM Freddie Soman, ULCCS GM Shabu KP attended.

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