Kerala-based Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) has plans to extend its footprint in its centenary year, based on the foundational vision of sustainable and inclusive development.

As a total solution provider (TSP), ULCCS in recent years forayed into cutting-edge fields, including information technology, skill development and material quality testing, even as consolidating its position in infrastructure development.

ULCCS is a member of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and earned the international acclaim as promoter of a unique development model.

Its year-long centenary celebrations will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on February 13.

"We are keen to leverage the centenary as a historic context to draw upfront initiatives and projects for the next 100 years that should benefit the home state, the country and the world," ULCCS Chairman Rameshan Palery told PTI.

The plans include setting up an independent university of international standards and partnership. "We are in discussions with the University of Arizona as part of this ambitious project," Palery said.

He said ULCCS is ready to take up work outside Kerala also, provided that all the dealings are transparent. He said the centenary is packed with events, including international seminars.

"We should create environmentally sustainable models that help mitigate the consequences of climate change. We are seriously considering how we can adapt to the latest technologies available globally and plan for the next 100 years," he said.

"We are constructing a bridge in Thirunavaya in Malappuram district using sustainable material and technology, drastically reducing the use of steel and cement. It's cost-effective also," he said.

The ULCCS’ Cyber Park in Kozhikode firmly marked North Kerala in the IT map of the country.

"The centenary is also an occasion for us to salute the founders of ULCCS, starting with a small gathering of youngsters inspired by the ideals like dignity of labour, self-reliance and self-respect propounded by Vagbhatanandan’s movement Atmavidya Sangham in North Kerala, which was part of the Malabar district of the Madras province under British rule," he said.

These youngsters first pooled a few coins at their disposal to form the ‘Aikya Nanaya Sangham’ (United Credit Cooperative) and later formalised their endeavour as Uralungal Labourers Mutual Aid and Cooperative Society, which eventually became ULCCS.

The newly-formed workers' collective started off by taking up local resilience works like rebuilding bunds of farmlands and stockyards of fishermen washed away by the devastating floods of 1924.

Labour welfare as the basic motive, ULCCL has recently taken in workers from other states as well, assuring them all benefits that the local workforce is entitled. All workers will get the benefits like Provident Fund and insurance.

On the management model of ULCCS, he said "Our profit is very low. But the management system is very strong. We value the spending of even ₹1."