Co-operative sector has emerged as the most significant sector of our Indian economy. The co-operative movement which has initially started in 1904 in the share of credit has now spread to all most all sectors and areas of operations like farming, marketing, insurance transportation, housing and others.
Perhaps that is reason for which the economic plans and policies statements of our country have assigned the key role in public contribution of essential goods.
Actually this form of business organization of weaker section or poor’s who individually unable to stand on his own feet. By forming this form of organization, we emphasize the idea of a voluntary association of those weak individuals for the achievement of common good.
Thus, cooperative form of organization attempts to protect the weaker sections of the society through mutual help and assistance. In the other words, it is a protective device used by the economically weaker sections to protect their self interest and against the exploitation by others.
In all others form of business organization like sole proprietorship, partnership or company form, the primary motive is to generate profit by any means even at the cost of consumers. But this is completely different from all other form of organization.
The co-operative form of organization is a democratic set of works in the principles of ‘All for each and each for all’. This simply tell very objective of formation of this form of business.
That means an isolated and weak individual, with help and mutual support of other weaker individuals, can stand on its own beside making other stand too.
Thus, it can be considered as an ideal association of individuals seeking to improve their economic conditions through collective efforts. In one word we can say that it is self help through mutual help.
“It is an association of the weak who gather together for a common economic need and try to lift themselves from weakness into strength through business enterprise.”
“Co-operative is a form of enterprise wherein persons voluntarily associate together as human being on the basis of equality for the promotion of the economic interest of themselves.”Hubert Calvert
“Co-operation is one aspect of a vast movement which promotes the voluntary associations of individuals having common economic needs who combine towards the achievement of the common economic end they have in view and who bring into this combinations a moral effort and a progressively developing realization of moral obligation. Mehta
“Cooperative is self-help as well as mutual help. It is a joint enterprise of those who are not financially strong and cannot stand on their legs and therefore, come together not with a view to get profits but to overcome disability arising out of the want of adequate financial resources.” H.N. Kunzen
“Co-operative society is an association of persons, usually of limited means, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve a common economic objective through mutual help.” J.S.Mehandipur
“Co-operative defines a society which has its objectives the promotion of economic interest of its members in accordance with co-operative principles.”The Indian Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 U/s 4
International Labor Organization (ILO)
ILO has defined “co-operative is an association of persons, usually of limited means, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve a common economic end through the formation of a democratically controlled business organization, making equitable contribution to the capital required and accepting a fair share of risk and benefits of the undertaking.”