Singularity in Plurality: Technology Percolated to Empower Rural Grassroots & Nourish Multiple Cooperatives at Warana Complex, India

Abstract

The Warana Co-operative Complex, a singular forerunner of successful integrated rural development in India used information technology as a means to create synergy bringing plurality among rural populace, local industry and national economy. Paper brings innovative experience of “Wired Village” project, the brain child of Warana Cooperative Complex how has drawn in variety of cross section of society including non-members, youth, women and villagers to generate mutual socio-economic benefits.

The project, launched in 1998 as alliance between State & Union Government at behest of Warana Cooperatives installed Information Computer Technology kiosks in adjacent 69 villages inhabiting 400000 people. The Warana Complex, a conglomerate of 20 cooperatives engaged in different business activities comprised of 60000 members has evolved on a cooperative framework and implemented sustainable models based on the core competencies of the rural areas. The turnover of cooperative societies exceeds INR 6000 million distributed within 4 Kilometer radius. Warana cooperatives have provided to its youth a wide spectrum of education to empower themselves and take the vision of the Warana development further. The Warana cooperative complex conveys that innovative missions, with focus on better technology and sound management, can fulfill the socio-economic objectives of creating a prosperous and happy society emanating from the bottom of the pyramid.

The target beneficiaries of the project are farmers, sugarcane growers and villagers. It is intended to serve the information needs of farmers for cultivation practices, pests and disease control, marketing & processing information, bill payment position of sugarcane and dairy products. The kiosks are facilitating sugar cane production process; provide information to farmers about demand, inventory, prices, payment of agriculture, dairy & poultry produces, useful and critical for villagers in their daily life. Kiosks are rich in terms of utility and ordinarily such access is not otherwise available to rural population in India. The paper brings out several uses, to cite here few:

Tele-education
Help blood donor to get free blood when it is needed
Pathological Laboratory reports can be accessed from the kiosk
Database of 20000 members of cooperatives and their family
Crop Guide, Land Record
Government Schemes of Agriculture & Employment department
Vocational Guidance
Hospital Management, Agriculture Produce & Geographical Information System
Store inventory control for Sugar factory and Warana Bazar

The study encompasses how plurality has been brought by the project in increasing the efficiency of cooperative societies by providing state-of-the-art computer communication network, utility of database of villagers on various socio-economic aspects, promoting tele-education to primary and higher educational institutes by developing IT centers at populous points to facilitate access, creating greater transparency in the functioning of the cooperative society, and unifying various cooperatives, other institutes & non-members.

Download full paper from SSRN:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1582346

 

Keywords: Pluarality, cooperative, Warana, Inclusive

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