Trade unions, cooperatives and NGOs are three organizational forms impact in the expansion and deepening of democracy in India.

Trade unions, cooperatives and NGOs are three organizational forms that contemporary social interventions often assume as they engage in the task of challenging the marginalization and disenfranchisement of particular constituencies.  From the readings select one example of each kind of organization, discuss their attempts to claim and secure rights, and examine their relative impact in the expansion and deepening of democracy in India.

Introduction:

Trade union: Trade Union is an organization of employees formed to bargain with the employer for their wages, rise in the standard of living, their right (safety and security) and interest. Self-employed Women Workers (SEWA) is a trade union registered in 1972 at the Ahmedabad in state of Gujarat. It is a trade union for poor, self-employed women workers in India. The SEWA was founded by the noted Gandhian and Civil Right leader Dr. Ela Bhatt, and the organization members were women who earn a living through their own labors or small businesses. The workers do not get regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in organized sector. SEWA is strongly supported by World Bank,  ILO and Indian Government in some extent, which holds it out as a model to be replicated elsewhere. SEWA’s successful efforts have mobilized large numbers of poor self-employed women for employment, and their main goals are to organized women workers for full employment which includes income security, food security, and social security. It is one of the most successful trade unions in India. However, the SEWA is not only trade union, it is a movement of several interconnected type of organization supporting informal women workers, including cooperation, social security organizations, saving and credit groups, a banks a housing trust and many others were all under Sewa Umbrella.

Cooperative: cooperative is a jointly owned commercial enterprise usually organized by famers or consumer or group of individual that produces and distribute goods and services for a common purpose or benefit, and it is run for the benefit of its owners or association. Charaka Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative Society: it is a rural producer cooperative owned and managed by the women. They are getting handloom Jubbas and other ready to wear at reasonable prices. Their main aim is not on profit but to give more employment and decent wages to many as possible, and run the cooperative society without loss. The central ideas of Charaka are giving provision of livelihood to the people and there are compromised where provision of employment and welfare of labors is concern. Lastly, the difficulties they face in running the cooperative society can be summarized that, in the initial stage the society has run of money for six months, there was no money to pay the workers’ wages and when there is no work, it is difficult to handle the payment of the employees. So far, so good, the Charaka cooperative society is running smoothly.

NGOs: NGO is an organization that is not the part of the local, state or federal government. Sangeeta Kamat’s paper on ‘the privatization of public interest; theorizing NGO discourse in a neoliberal era,’ mainly analyzed the contemporary context of the neoliberal economic model’s policies, where the privatization of the public interest emerging in the society, and the central role of NGO in the democratization of the civil society. The author exemplifies the conflict between private interest and public interest, and the ascendancy of NGOs is theorized in this context. Therefore, the recent neoliberal policy position of the NGO and their role like pluralization the public sphere and depoliticizing the private sphere in promoting governance through democratic process in the modern society, at the local, national and international level are organized and maintained as a legal organization.

Critically analysis with the example of their relative impact and their attempts to claim in the expansion and deepening of democracy in India:

Trade union: SEWA is a trade union which contributes to running of the democracy in many ways. Since the union registered in 1972 under the leadership of Ela Bhatt, they always focus on one over-riding reality in democratic meant that secure employment and self-reliance. SEWA is functioning of its rotating collective leadership system, and continues to emphasize Gandhian value, in particular simplicity and tolerance.  It is an organization of the poor, and self-employed women workers. Their main aim is to empower the women by organizing the unorganized women workers into organized workers.  The unorganized labor forces of the women remain uncounted, undercounted and invisible. However, SEWA give them happy livelihood in secure and stable jobs. SEWA not only trade union, it is a movement of several interconnected type of organization supporting informal women workers, including cooperation, social security organizations, saving and credit groups, a banks a housing trust and many others were all under SEWA umbrella. Thereby, the SEWA expansion from trade union to other, cooperative, banking, organization, academic and training centre and their relative impact in the expansion and deepening of democracy in India.

Cooperative: Charaka Women’s Multipurpoe Cooperative Society: Charaka was registered as the cooperative Society in 1996, and they are rural producers which are owned by the women. Charaka as a cooperative, it’s at heart a particular form of business. The society run for non-profit but to sustain by giving appropriate wages to the workers. Since, giving provisional of livelihood to the people, they don’t compromised the provision of employment and welfare of the labors is concern, which is highly appreciated. It provide a valuable gain to its members just a successful corporate provides gains to its shareholders. Thereby, economic sustainability is as crucial to a cooperative as it is to a corporate. So, how the Charaka should be improve in order to sustain? Charaka can be improve by giving same dedication from all the workers. However, some workers are not interested but they work just they were paid; they should understand it properly that it should not be the motives to received salary and go away at the end of the day, when the workers are improving the livelihood from the Charaka. All the workers should work hard and give the same dedication to their works, so they will get more benefit from their cooperative society. The Charaka Cooperative Society faced many difficulties and problem; one of their main problem in the initial stage was that, the they have financial crisis for six months they has to be closed because there was no money to pay to the workers’ wages. According to Ms. Gauramma who was the first president of the society says “those were the frightening time because no-one was sure what would happen next? Whether it would be possible to continue at all? Second problem is when there no works, it was very hard to handle for the administrators of the society to pay a salary to the employers. And some men employers demanded to be paid for monthly salary. According to Chandrakala, “she find it difficult to turn down such request, it is not a request that can be accepted either because then everyone will have to paid a monthly salary wages regardlessly of whether or not there is work.” Therefore, the pieces rate of the payment are seasonal, which is very true in this context. This cooperative is contributing to democracy by empowering women workers through self-reliance and their social security’s, and they were the part of people’s movement. However, the neoliberal economic policy toward free-market economy can weaken the cooperative society.

NGOs: NGOs have become a global phenomenon, emerging with amazing alacrity in the countries merely on the threshold of establishing democratic state (Henderson, 2002; Kuropas, 1997). NGOs, conventionally understand as a part of the civil society, are remaking of state institutions and state processes, as much as they are part of re-configuring the civil society. Sangeeta Kamat (2004). The author analysis focus on the role of the NGOs and promoting governance in the contemporary neoliberal policy in the functioning of the state, and the relationship between private interest and public good are myriad of social, political and economic institution, at local and global level.

I strongly believe that most of the NGOs are representing the public interest directly or indirectly in the contemporary neoliberal economic policy model, at the local and international level in promoting good governance in many nations through democratic ways;

First, NGOs are working to establish awareness of and respect for the right of individuals to exercise freedoms of expression, assembly and association, which is crucial to participatory democracy.

Second, NGOs are working to ensure that there is a level playing field upon which candidates for elective office can compete and that the entire elections process is free and fair.

Third, NGOs are working to build and strengthen the rule of just laws and responsive and accountable institutions of government so that the rights of individuals are protected regardless of which per sons or parties may be in office at any given time.

Other elements that constitute representative democracy; The importance of good governance, a government by the people that is accountable, transparent, and willing to accept constraints on power and cede it peacefully, and flourishing through civil society.

NGOs play a vital role in all three areas. Other governments, however, feel threatened by their work. In many countries, we see disturbing attempts to intimidate NGOs and restrict or shut them down. The recent assessment of the National Endowment for

Democracy captures this growing challenge. The conclusions are sobering. States are developing and using tools to subvert, suppress and silence these organizations

Example:

  1. Recently BPP led Modi government has dismiss the 40 plus NGO funds from outside, including Greenpeace and Oxfam.
  2. Russia is not the only country where NGOs face serious challenges.
  3. The Chinese government applies burdensome requirements to groups attempting to register as NGOs.

We need to ensure that NGO protection is an integral part of our diplomacy. Thereby, in my personal views, the increasing worldwide demand for greater personal and political freedom often reflected in the work of these NGOs is the growing recognition that democracy is the form of government that can best meet the demands of citizens for dignity, liberty, and equality.

Conclusion: Trade unions, cooperatives and NGOs are three organizational forms those contemporary social interventions in development of a nation and secure rights, and relative impact in the expansion and deepening of democracy in India in many ways. Firstly, the trade union like SEWA, give self-employment to the poor women, gives those jobs security, income security and social security through women empowerment and self-reliance.  These are the best examble of social interventions engage in the task of challenging the marginalization and disenfranchisement of particular areas. Secondly, Cooperative like Charaka Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative Society, gives training to the women to produce handloom Jubbas and other ready to wear at reasonable prices and other items. The cooperative society gives them job according to the works condition. They sustains their livelihood from the cooperative initiated programmed, and their main goal is to give more employment to the under privilege women. This kind of cooperative society is giving security in income, employment, social security and promote livelihood and help the marginalized group of people to bring into people movement toward socio-economic development. And lastly, NGOs has become one of the famous institution is 21st century, which they represent the people interest in many countries. In present neoliberal economic policy model, NGOs plays the central role in democratic nations; because most of the NGOs whether in local or International level were working in the interest and the right of the people, and working to build and strengthen the rule of laws and responsive in democratic countries. In the end, the NGOs roles in pluralization the public sphere and depoliticizing the private sphere in promoting governance through democratic process in the modern society are very much helping in deepening the democracy of India.

NOTE: 1,986 words.

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