Monday, February 14, 2011

Surinder Jakhar; remembering a cooperator par excellence

Surinder Kumar Jakhar, the son of Balram Jakhar, former Lok Sabha speaker and IFFCO chairman for over two decades, died in an accidental bullet shot fired from his own gun at his farmhouse at Abohar district of Punjab.

Born on April 5, 1953, in a prominent family of Congressmen, Surinder Jakhar remained apolitical throughout his life, though he started his career as a sarpanch of Panchkosi village in 1980. Jakhar chose not to follow in the footsteps of his father, Balram Jakhar, and younger brother Sunil, who is an MLA from Abohar. Jhakar was a graduate from DAV College, Punjab University, Abohar. He was actively involved in cooperatives for about three decades. In 1987, he was elected as the MD of Fazilka Cooperative Society and was enjoying his fifth term before his demise.

A staunch follower of Gandhian views and administrator par excellence, he has shown many extraordinary capabilities during his long tenure as chairman of the largest cooperative institution. He first became the Director of IFFCO in 1988 and then became the youngest chairman in 1997. He was serving his fourth term as chairman, IFFCO. He was the founder chairman of IFFCO Tokyo general insurance company and also served as Director, Kribhco and Markfed.

Under Jakhar's leadership, IFFCO set a new record of selling 112 lakh MT of fertilizers in 2008-09 and achieved an all-time record turnover of Rs 32,933 crore in 2008-09. IFFCO had earned a net profit of Rs 360 crore in 2008-09.

During his tenure, IFFCO successfully forayed into the rural telecom sector by forming IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited, IFFCO Chattisgarh Power Limited in Power sector, and became the first company in India to make a SEZ for farmers as IFFCO Kisan SEZ. He was awarded best co-operator of the year in 2001 in a state-level function. He also became the director of International Co-operative Association (ICA) twice.

He made significant contribution towards accelerating agricultural and rural development during his long and illustrious career. A widely travelled person, he carried with him rich and varied experience in the field of agriculture and cooperatives. His zeal in solving and improving the financial position of rural people, particularly the farmers, and augmenting their income through cooperatives was the inspiration behind his joining the cooperative movement. Jakhar's dream comprised networking cooperatives all over the world to meet the various requirements of people at large for their economic betterment. He was a cooperator of eminence and widely acceptable, and will always be remembered and acknowledged as a great cooperative leader in the Indian Cooperative Movement.

We pay a revered tribute to the great co-operative leader, who has championed the cause of the masses, and prays for the departed soul to rest in peace in the heavenly adobe.

New Menin Charge

Mr N P Patel and Mr Balvinder Singh Nakai were elected unopposed as new chairman and vice chairman of IFFCO, respectively. Mr Patel hails from Gujarat and is currently the chairman of Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd. (GUJCOMASOL). He is associated with the cooperative movement for about four decades, including being a member of the IFFCO family since 30 years. He holds several state and national positions in reputed cooperative societies as currently on board the IFFCO Kisan Sewa Trust, National Agricultural Coop Marketing Fed., Ltd., Gujarat State Cooperative Bank Ltd., Gujarat State Cooperative Union, Centre Bank Ltd, and was working vice chairman of IFFCO. He is remembered for promoting co operative societies in his native state Gujarat.

Shri Balvinder Singh Nakai is an eminent farmer and cooperator. He is deeply involved in providing strength to Indian Cooperative Movement for the last three decades. He is currently working as the Chairman of Malwa Fruit and Vegetable Cooperative Marketing-cum-Procurement Society Limited. He had earlier served as Vice Chairman of IFFCO for two terms. Being a farmer himself, Mr Nakai has been instrumental in formulating farmer oriented policies of IFFCO.

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