The core activity of the Coolie Sangha has been to respond to expressed and unexpressed needs of Member Coolie families. In the beginning, Community Workers living amongst them in central villages and then elected Cluster Secretaries would take up issues to redress grievances. Then it became the primary function of Area Field Workers. Village and Cluster functionaries soon became adept in unearthing unspent budgets, writing applications and chasing them for Member Coolie families to get the maximum benefit from government schemes. Some problems would be locally solved while others needed to be tackled at a wider level.
In 2003, on the astute advice of our longstanding management consultant, we decided to formalise this into regular biannual CD&S Surveys. He argued that since they were tax paid-up members, Member Coolie families should be treated as "customers" who had the right to make "demands". And it was the Coolie Sangha's role to "satisfy" these demands. This would be in tune with the overall philosophy of ADATS which did not consider itself as doing a bit of charity.
The first formal CD&S surveys were conducted in 2003 and have ever since been a regular feature every single year. In the CD&S Summer Agenda of that year which lasted from February to July 2003, for example, 4,526 of the 7,523 listed Demands could be satisfactorily met, giving an overall Result of 60%.
|Demands||Action Item||No Action||Under Action||CSU Reject||Govt Reject||Success|
|817||Child Rearing Business||121||78||2||-||610|
|556||Women in Families||126||131||4||1||294|
In March 2017, for example, 381 functioning village CSUs with 8,757 active Member families made 7,486 demands. 5,498 (73%) of these were satisfied.
To this day, CD&S are conducted on similar lines with more or less the same results. Success rate is in direct proportion to the current socio-political presence of the Coolie Sangha in any given year and taluk. Demands have always been reasonable and not a single Member Coolie sat back after making her/his demand. They join hands with others with similar demands and together went about meeting their needs.
CD&S provides a vital framework and structure for the everyday functioning of Village CSUs. Life processes constantly addressed are: