1. Shree Tatyasaheb Kore Warana Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Limited is founded by late Tatyasaheb Kore and was leading the same since its inception to his demise in 1994. Thereafter, his name was incorporated in the title of the organisation. However, it is popularly known as Warana Sakhar Karkhana in Marathi, Maharashtra's official language, and Warana Sugar Co-operative in English and so this organisation is mentioned in this write up briefly as WSC. It is the mother institution of all the bodies together in Warananagar which has made it a role model of the rural development in India. The Warana Complex comprises several co-operatives, trusts, societies etc. for which WSC is the nucleus.
2. It may be noted that a co-operative is often misconstrued as merely a form of business organisation. The fact is that it is a vehicle to reach the goal of development based on the co-operative principles which are enunciated in the Schedule 1 of The Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002, a Central Act. (Annexure A). On Page No. 16 of the Prize Guidelines, the concept of the Jindal Foundation about the Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation is specified in detail. It is pertinent to note here that a Co-operative, a body corporate under the Co-operative Societies Act, is most suited to accomplish the ideals laid down in the Guidelines. WSG by strictly adhering to these principles has reached the goal to fully satisfactory extent. Warananagar was fortunate in having the leadership of the late Tatyasaheb Kore, a great visionary, who was always very keen on two aspects - (1) whatever constructive work taken in hand must finally proved to be better than the best and (2) the common man must be the main beneficiary.
3. The word Warana is taken from the name of the river, a tributary of Krishna, which flows West to East forming the boundary of the districts of Kolhapur and Sangli. The area of operation of WSC comprises 70 villages which are located on both the sides of the river. This Co-operative has effected total socio-economic revolution in this area. Prior to the advent of WSC, this area was notorious for the rampant decoities and murders. With WSC coming on the scene, there was a sea change in the situation in the very short span and virtually a new life began for the villagers of the basin. This was the first milestone in the success path of WSC.
4. Prior to the establishment of WSC, the cane farmers in the area were producing jaggery (non-centrifugal sugar) and were at the mercy of the market rates for their produce. Many a times, these rates used to be at the rock bottom making it uneconomical to produce jaggery, eventually compelling the farmers to burn down their standing cane. The late Tatyasaheb Kore also had once resorted to this unhappy step. With the setting up of WSC, the farmers were saved from the vagaries of the said market rates.
5. The financial operations of a sugar co-operative always remain to be quite different from that of its counterpart in the company sector. After deducting all the expenses (except that of sugarcane) from the total realization from selling sugar and all the by-products, the rest of the amount is divided by the number of tons of cane crushed and thus a rate per ton of cane is fixed. In 1969-70, when the rest of the sugar factories in the country were paying between Rs. 90 to 125 per ton, WSC paid Rs. 208! This was a very big surprise for the sugar industry in India and thereafter every other sugar factory started taking cognizance of WSC uninterruptedly till date. As regards cane price, WSC has always remained in the top bracket since then.
6. WSC had its initial capacity of 1000 tons crushing per day (TCD). It was expanded from time to time and had reached 7500 TCD early last decade. It is ranking first among all the sugar factories in Maharashtra in terms of production for the past several years. Between 2006 to 2009, it has emerged as the largest exporter of sugar among all the sugar factories in the country. This co-operative has obtained several awards for efficiency in various parameters from national and state level relevant institutions. (The details are given in a separate annexure.) It has consistently remained in the forefront towards the utilization of the by-products. In these efforts, emphasis was on innovation, pollution control and renewable energy with a stress on avoiding warming. (Details are given in this nomination paper under separate items.)
7. The New Companies Bill to be placed before the Parliament in its ensuing Monsoon Session proposes to stipulate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the first time in the company sector (which is being enormously termed as the corporate sector since every organisation other than a company is a body corporate registered under one Act or the other.) So far as WSC is concerned, CSR is shouldered from the day one. Member's Economic Participation and Concern for Community are the two among the seven co-operative principles. Taken together they translate into CSR. From the attractive cane price paid to about 18 thousand farmer members of WSC, several deductions are made every year, most of them are for what is now called as CSR. The Companies Bill stipulated minimum contribution to CSR at 2 per cent of the profit. In the sugar industry, sugarcane cost is always taken above 60 per cent of the cost of production. In WSC, the deductions have always remained above 2 per cent of the cane ratio. Thus, WSC is observing CSR since its inception very much above the benchmark laid down in the Companies Bill. It may be noted that most of the sugar companies in India remain in red intermittently. For them, CSR would not be applicable in the loss making years. However, in WSC, the deductions are going on continuously without any gap for over half a century now.
8. The principle of Co-operation among Co-operatives is at the sixth place in the Schedule 1 mentioned in the second para above. In its furtherance, WSC taken on lease five sick closed sugar co-operatives during the past five years with the purpose of their revival. Two of them could not be continued because of some differences. In the rest of the three, their farmer-members are quite happy with WSC for the efforts being made by the latter.
9. Most of the sugarcane WSC gets comes from fields irrigated by lifts as flow irrigation is not introduced in the area. For this purpose, WSC has helped its farmer-members to form co-operative irrigation societies and has fully supported these ventures in all the respects. This has made possible for the concerned farmer-members to enhance their earnings by increasing cane farming substantially.
10. With the 'liberation' of the prohibition in Maharashtra during the late Sixtees, most of the major sugar co-operatives in the State ventured into producing Indian-made Foreign Liquor and Country Liquor. WSC steadfastly opted otherwise.
11. The area of operation of WSC consists of 70 villages which are connected by Broad-band. This has helped the farmers to avail of all the WSC related information at the village level only. This has made it possible for them to avoid spending time and money on visiting the sugar factory. By using this networking facility, computer based school education is being implemented in the schools in these villages. This wired village project has been set up under the Prime Minister's Task Force on Information Technology. It is now proposed that Warananagar should have VPN (Virtual Private Network) connectivity which will be used in the other areas, namely, Warana Dairy, Warana Bazar, Educational Institute etc.
12. In the Golden Jubilee year, during the visit of former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, by his auspicious hands WSC has introduced a Vaidhyashree (F) Medical Insurance Scheme sponsored by KLE Health Care Services, Belgaum. Under this scheme, medical treatment as well as hospitalization facility can be availed by the families of shareholder-members and workers residing in the area of operation of 80 villages. Our Sugar Factory has been spending Rs. 1.00 crore on this insurance scheme to improve the health of the members for every year. Due to various schemes implemented by WSC, the overall standard of living of the people of these 80 villages has been improved substantially.
13. Next to WSC, the other major economic activity is that of the Warana Dairy which is registered as a co-operative society by the name Shree Warana Sahakari Dudh Utpadak Prakriya Sangh Limited. It daily collects about five lakh litres of milk and the annual sales have now surpassed Rs. 600 Crore. It sells milk and various milk products and also exports the same. 'Warana' is the largest selling brand of Shrikhand in our country. The dairy supplies skimmed milk & powder to the Defence establishments and ghee to Yogaguru Shri Ramdev Baba for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines. Cadbury gets some of their products manufactured here. Thus, Warana is one of the major players in the Indian dairy sector.
14. The village milk co-operatives collect milk from the individual farmers and, in turn, supply the same to the Warana Dairy. Majority of the farmers in the area of operation of WSC could not produce sugarcane due to various limitations. Among them were marginal farmers, landless labourers etc. Because of Warana Dairy, they started producing milk thus they got a good source of livelihood. The number of milk supplying farmers here is 10 times that of the number of cane supplying farmers to WSC. Among them, 30 per cent are women milk producers. In our country, the National Dairy Development Board had laid down a pattern of milk development. It was not adopted in Warana Dairy who had developed its own pattern as a result it could pay the highest rate for milk in India to the farmers. The Warana Dairy continuously provides several inputs in various ways to the village milk co-operatives thus strengthening them to be viable units.
15. The Warana Bazar is the first super bazaar in the rural India. Registered as Shree Warana Vibhag Sahakari Grahak Mandal Limited, the Warana Bazar started its operations in 1978. It has now two big departmental stores, 55 branches and three franchisee. With 555 employees, this year the annual sales are likely to cross Rs. 125 crore. This Consumer Co-operative has proved to be a grand success because of several innovative ideas put into action. The number of shareholder-members is a little over 20 thousand out of which about 80 per cent are women. Their dominance is reflected in the Board of Directors and also in the Staff. This co-operative makes consumers aware in the matter of spurious goods. They get goods cheaper at the Warana Bazar than anywhere else. With the advent of the mall culture, the consumer co-operatives in the metropolitan areas are crumbling down while Warana Bazar is growing up from strength to strength. In the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa, the Warana Bazar is taken as the model consumer co-operative. The consumer co-operative movement in these States gets active help from the Warana Bazar. A notable feature of the Warana Bazar is that it felicitates the mothers in the vicinity of Warananagar who give birth to a girl child. This is a humble effort to arrest the dwindling sex ratio.
16. Established in 1966, the Warana Sahakari Bank Ltd. is a primary co-operative bank with 25 branches now mostly in the rural areas. All of them are computerized and connected with each other by adopting core banking solution. The deposits with this bank have now reached Rs. 500 Crore. In the matter of priority lending, this bank has always remained above the RBI norms. It has continuously maintained all the prudential parameters as laid down by RBI.
17. All the educational activities in Warananagar, from KG to PG, are managed by Shree Warana Vibhag Shikshan Mandal, in its 100 acre sprawling campus. After WSC came into operation, the late Tatyasaheb Kore realized that the immediate need of the area of operation is a college and so even before the primary and secondary educational facilities were set up at Warananagar, a college was established. For this purpose, WSC got constructed a building from its own funds for the college and handed it over on lease to the Shikshan Mandal. The most notable thing in this regard is that WSC has done this before erecting a building for its office. The campus of the Shikshan Mandal comprises schools and colleges teaching Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Technology, Pharmacy disciplines etc. It has also a Sainik School. All these education centres are recognized as of very high standard by the respective authorities.
18. Warana Bhagini Mandal, registered as a trust provides gainful employment to hundreds of ladies in various trades. A notable programme undertaken by this trust is of providing training to girls who have failed in their SSC Examination. In such a situation, the parents immediately opt for girl's marriage. Here, the Bhagini Mandal gives them training of a very short duration in several trades enabling them to become self employed and making them confident to face the life.
19. Surajya Foundation (SF) is registered as a trust and is operating from Warananagar. After completing his education, a man has to face various hurdles while entering the real life. SF comes on the scene here. It makes the youths to adopt always a positive approach and further moulds them to become eligible for various chances to reach a higher goal in life. By availing of appropriate training from SF, thousand of youths got jobs better than they aspired initially. In the educational campus at Warananagar, the students are groomed by SF for higher jobs offered by the Public Service Commissions. Though SF is operating in Maharashtra, its area of operation is the whole country and so it will spread its activities at the national level in the not too distant future.
20. The extent of geographical area differs from institution to institution. However, it could be said that the inner circle is of 25 Km. radius while the outer one is of 100 Km. About the impact assessment study, a separate note is given in this nomination. The source of funding has remained always official and no doubtful and objectionable route is used. The internal accruals are sizable. All the institutions in Warananagar have well thought out and large 'Future Action Plans' which could not be detailed here due to the paucity of the space.
21. Warananagar has always remained on the look out for the various schemes of rural development proposed from time to time by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, the Department of Rural Development, Government of Maharashtra, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development and National Co-operative Development Corporation. This has enabled Warananagar to introduce the latest schemes in this sector.
22. The Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh has recently said, "The economic growth would not be sustainable unless it is made inclusive." From this write up, the Jury will certainly agree that WSC has adopted it as a policy from its inception.