Hindu Parivaar Credit Union inaugurated in Barrackpore

Hindu Parivaar Credit Union inaugurated in Barrackpore

Photo : Directors of Hindu Parivaar Credit Union; Members of Credit Committee; Members of Supervisory Committee

“Some Hindus had fear in their hearts but the majority want to see us organise ourselves to give back credibility to the word Hindu in organized finance,” -Ramacharan Motilal.

I journeyed to Barrackpore last Saturday (April14, 2018) and was delighted to participate in the Inaugural General Meeting of the Hindu Parivaar Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited. I have been told about the effort to establish a Hindu Credit Union by members of the Satya Dristi Spiritual and Sporting Organisation one year ago. Knowing the commitment of the members of the Satya Dristi I was always optimistic and hopeful. I knew deep within that the “boys and girls” not only have the academics but also the commitment, character and integrity to make a success of this undertaking.

In his opening remarks, Ramcharran Motilal,  Interim Chairman of the Steering Committee, affirmed that the Credit Union is Hindu and argued that “all Hindus should not be condemned because of the mistakes by a few.” This was an obvious reference to the unfortunate events that led to the collapse of the Hindu Credit Union more than a decade ago.

Motilal continued: “Some Hindus had fear in their hearts but the majority want to see us organise ourselves to give back credibility to the word Hindu in organized finance.”

The meeting began with the chanting of mantras to Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and Mother Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. This was followed by a prayer of St Francis of Asisi and the National Anthem.

The reading of reports was done and adopted. This was followed with the dissolution of the Steering Committee and the election of officers to serve on three committees: Supervisory Committee, Credit Committee and the Board of Directors. The elections were conducted by officers of the Co-operative Division of the Ministry of Labour, Small Enterprises and Co-operative Development Division.

Gowtam Maharaj, a supervisor at Petrotrin Refinery and President of the Blue Bird Sports and Cultural Organisation, was elected a director. He see the Credit Union as “one which is needed in the Barrackpore district because a number of people in this district are not serviced optimally by mainstream financial institutions.” Gowtam continued: “Trust is important in finance and coming from a common background in the temples they would have greater confidence to do business with the credit union.” Other directors elected were Sunil Ramdass, Ramcharran Motilal, Rajnarine Sookdeo, Nalini Jankie, Jesse Karna Rampersad, Gaitree Bekhary, Shami Maharaj, Shobha Ramdass and Reshma Maraj-Deokie Prassad(1st Sub) and Prakash Samdeo Rampersad (2nd Sub).

Lalchan Dookie, a retired banker with 35 years of service and an officer with the Swayamsevak, was elected to serve in the Supervisory Committee. I asked Dookie why he chose to be involved in the Hindu Parivaar Credit Union and he responded: “I see the Credit Union as an initiative from the Barrackpore area that can play a major role with respect to finance for the Hindus of Barrackpore.”  Others elected to the Supervisory Committee were: Jawaharlal Mewahlal, Shrivanie Motilal, Kamla Pysadee-Jagdeo ( 1st Sub) and Nicketta Kavita Kissoon (2nd Sub).

“The Supervisory Committee is like a watchdog, overseeing the entire operation. No member of the supervisory committee is allowed to serve as a director or on the credit committee,” Veera Mohammed, Co-operative Officer 111 of the Cooperative Division stressed.

The following were elected to the Credit Committee: Sieupersad Motilal, Sunil Dhanessar, Krishna Sirju, Rookmin Sookdeo, Arun Rampersad, Rovena Beharry (1st Sub) and Keshav Basdeo (2nd Sub).

Membership of the Hindu Parivaar Credit Union is opened to all Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago.

After one year of training the Hindus of Barrackpore demonstrated that they have the will to achieve their goals. They demonstrated to the officials of the Co-operative Division that they have the discipline, virtue and character to succeed.

Mainly young people were elected to serve. Most are professional with the tertiary level education. A few are still at institutions pursuing further education. What was significant about the elected officers is their direct involvement in their respective communities.