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More on Shashi Rajagopalan

Your question was on how to revive PACs. We have to make them thrift-oriented where every member must save x rupees every month instead of waiting for banks to refinance or for Nabard to step in. That may continue but that cannot be a long-term plan. The long-term plan has to be your own funding. When you have thrift in an organisation, not only do you have a stronger co-op, but wealth retention also takes place at the local level. The profits of that enterprise stay at the local level. Your own savings stay with you. They get invested locally. Plus the profits from the entire enterprise also stay locally — the profits of any third party leave the area.

And the fact that a large number of people have access to credit on a regular basis means there is purchasing power in the hands of a large number of people at the large, contiguous area year after year. You automatically have a large, domestic, service sector emerging which is sustainable because it is not falsely supported from outside. And almost everywhere we see, we see liquor, some entertainment, flour mill, tea shops, workshops, mason, and transport coming in first into the village. And wherever you have good co-ops, sooner or later, you see the housing going up in the area.

And that is a story by itself. It has not been reported anywhere so far. But, my goodness, look what we can do. Instead of going on crying that agriculture cannot support so many people.

I uploaded the complete transcript of my interview with Shashi Rajagopalan, she of the co-operatives fame, to the et website yesterday. Take a look. 

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