During the first 10 days of December 1994, all the CSUs in the erstwhile Icco supported extension programme Areas of Chickballapur, Chintamani, Siddalaghatta and Julapalya made an exhaustive study of Government benefits received by their members through the direct efforts of their respective CSUs during the past 3 years. Great care was taken to ensure that all and every benefit received by member Coolies (through their individual efforts) were not included in this stock taking exercise. Only those benefits which accrued to member families through the direct efforts of their CSUs were recorded. It was also ensured that only benefits accrued during the past 3 years (i.e. after the earlier stock taking exercise was completed) were recorded. One of the means by which accuracy was ensured was by checking whether the efforts and struggle to get them were recorded in the CSU Minutes Books at the time of getting the benefits.
In this study we have also compiled a list of common (as opposed to individual) Government benefits that reached villages with CSUs in each of the 4 Icco supported Areas. The reason for this was to check the conclusions we were drawing and validate the same. By looking at the Government inputs that reached the entire village as a whole, we felt we could compare the efforts of the organised Coolies bargaining through their CSUs with items which were, quite often, not the result of CSU pressure alone.
The conclusion we draw from this study is that good strategies and the bargaining capacity of a population couple with political opportunities in order to result in greater developmental investments. In the coming weeks and months, this Note, along with the Cluster wise data found from page 6 onward, will be discussed in all the CSU and Mahila Meetings so that the Coolies can better their strategies in the next 3 years.