Tribal Women Demoted as Supervisors, Raise Voice Against Corruption in Sumul Dairy

This comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been urging more women to enroll in the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate (MSSC) program, highlighting the importance of women's empowerment


Surat : In a surprising turn of events, the tribal women supervisors who excelled in the Mahila Bachat Group Yojana (MBGY) in Tapi district find themselves facing demotion instead of recognition. This comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been urging more women to enroll in the Mahila Samman Saving Certificate (MSSC) program, highlighting the importance of women’s empowerment. The plight of these women sheds light on the corruption within Sumul Dairy, raising concerns about the treatment of dedicated employees.

The Surat District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Sumul Dairy) appointed around 22 tribal women in Tapi district as supervisors due to their exceptional performance. These women played a crucial role in the success of the Mahila Bachat Group Yojana, where approximately 6,000 savings group schemes were established in Surat and Tapi districts. Over 1 lakh women diligently saved Rs 100 per month, resulting in a monthly saving of Rs 1 crore.

Impressed by the achievements of the tribal women supervisors, Sumul Dairy conducted an examination, subsequently appointing them as supervisors in 2019 and providing them with a salary. However, the situation took a disappointing turn when new recruits were considered for the savings group. The previous 22 tribal women supervisors were abruptly demoted and relegated back to their previous roles as resource persons.

The affected women, including Nitaben Gamit, have taken a stand against the alleged corruption within Sumul Dairy, lodging a complaint with the state co-operation registrar. They claim to be victims of both the former and present chairman of Sumul Dairy. It is worth noting that these tribal women supervisors were removed from their positions without any resolution being passed by the Board of Sumul Dairy, which includes board members, the managing director, and the chairman.

Among the 22 demoted tribal women supervisors from Tapi district, Naynaben Jayram Gamit, wife of Dr. Jayrambhai Gamit, BJP MLA from Nizar-Uchhal assembly constituency, is one of them.

Sources within the milk mandalis affiliated with Sumul Dairy reveal that the number of Mahila Bachat Juths (savings groups) has been reduced by half in Surat and Tapi districts. This has consequently resulted in a significant reduction in the savings made by these women, who attribute the decline to political maneuvering within Sumul Dairy.

The aim of the Mahila savings groups, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is to empower tribal women and make them self-reliant. However, the recent events surrounding the demotion of the tribal women supervisors raise concerns about the prevalence of corruption within Sumul Dairy, hindering the noble objectives of the program.

Sources said the in-charge managing director Arun Purohit and one of the board of directors Jayesh Patel alias Jayesh Delad  have been at the helm of affairs, while the chairman Mansinh Patel is not getting time to move out of his plush office in Vyara. The duo Purohit and Delad are believed to have been running the show at Sumul Dairy and oppressing the poor milk farmers and tribal women at large.

It is crucial that authorities thoroughly investigate the claims made by these women and take appropriate action to address the alleged corruption within Sumul Dairy. Ensuring transparency, fairness, and equal opportunities for all employees is essential to promote a conducive work environment and achieve the vision of women’s empowerment as set forth by the Prime Minister.