Port Blair, Dec. 9: The 6th programme of distribution of Cooperative cards for Pension of old age, widow, and handicapped was organised by the A&N State Cooperative Bank on 8th December, 2012 at Haddo Community Hall. The Bishop of Catholic Church, Most Rev. Alex Dias, SFX graced the occasion as Chief Guest while Shri Bhagat Singh, Chairman of the Cooperative Bank chaired the function.

In his welcome speech Shri Ravinder Rao, Managing Director of the Bank briefed about the activities of the Bank. He stated that in 1965 the Bank was established with a total deposit of Rs. 85,000/- only, which is now having 29 branches all over the islands.

Shri Bhagat Singh, Chairman of the Bank in his address stated that in these hard days when jobs in Government departments have become a day dream, the only way out of the unemployment is to opt for creating self help groups and cooperatives and to get financial help from the Bank as this Bank is always ready to help the SHGs and Cooperatives. He expressed his happiness over the fact that in Haddo area itself there are about 250 SHGs and most of them are being funded by this Bank.

The Chairman also recorded his pleasure to the fact that the loan refunding percentile of the SHGs are 98%. He urged all the unemployed youths of these islands to opt for creating SHGs and Cooperatives and become self independent. He also appreciated the efforts of its Vice Chairman, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma and also the efforts of the Bank staff for distributing pensions at the door steps of the elderly, widowed and handicapped beneficiaries. He recorded his pleasure that the Managing Committee of the Bank is trying for opening new branches in other islands which will give job opportunities to many unemployed aspirants.

The Deputy General Manager of NABARD, Shri Anand Kishan praised the activities of the Bank for its selfless services to the poorest of the poor.

In his speech the Most Rev. Bishop Alex Dias, SFX appreciated the efforts of the Chairman of the Bank and his team for rendering noble services to the elderly, widowed and handicapped personnel. He said, “To serve the poor is to serve the Lord”. Lord does not want anything from us except our love to the downtrodden, poor, hapless personnel and patients etc. We should always love and protect HIS creations. If we feed a poor, the Lord will be fed and if we serve the hapless patients and elderly persons, the Lord will be nurtured”.

Giving various examples, Bishop recorded his utmost happiness on the workings of the Bank towards the poor and helpless persons. He has also stated that he knows Shri Bhagat Singh since last 33 years and whenever he needed any help on the welfare measures, Shri Singh has fulfilled it without any hitches and delay and Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma is following the footprints of Shri Bhagat Singh.

At the end of the formal function the Chief Guest distributed the pension cards to the beneficiaries.