It was 14th August, 1979. The auditorium of Ballygunj Siksha Sadan, Kolkata was the venue of a convention arranged by a group of officers in the state of West Bengal of the then United Commercial Bank with a view to mobilize all the officers in the state under a common banner in order to protect their common interest as only Officers’ Organisation available at that time, named United Commercial Bank Officers’ Organisation, had encamped dictatorial rule ignoring the interest of the Officers and was also denying admission to a key section of right thinking Officers. The convention thus gave birth to Association of Officers of UCO Bank, West Bengal with Late Com. Bimal Roychowdhury and Com. C. S. Panchadhyaya as President and General Secretary respectively.
The journey began. The initial days were a tale of struggle against groups with vested interest. However, the honesty of purpose of the activists saw the membership grow with every passing day and soon it crossed the 500 mark. As of September 2010, AOUCB as it is commonly known today commands the loyalty of 1424 members out of a total number of 1474 officers in the state of West Bengal. No doubt, the key to achieve a feat of having over 95% of membership out of the total number of officers was the principles of AOUCB, sacrifice and commitment of its functionaries as well as its members. AOUCB is the largest affiliate of the parent body All India UCO Bank Officer's Federation which is affiliated to All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC)has got its affiliation of AIUCBOF inspite of opposition/ resistance from the then Officers’ union UCBOA in form of a court case filed by them for staying the process which was denied by the Hon’ble Court as AIUCBOF had fought for our cause.
All along the years since its inception, AOUCB did not confine itself to trade union activities only. Appreciating the fact that there is paucity of blood during the summer months, the officers of UCO Bank belonging to AOUCB has been rendering services to the humanity in their own humble way by organising a Blood Donation Camp on the Historic May Day every yearsince 1986 Through this, members of AOUCB express their solidarity with the toiling masses to accomplish their social commitment by way of donating the best possible asset they possess, their blood, and thereby rededicate themselves to the best cause of humanity i.e. to save a human life
To fulfill its obligation to the society, AOUCB formed NABONNAYAN, a social welfare organization which was dreamt by our beloved leader Com.Soumen Roy Choudhury, to serve the society. All the members of AOUCB are truly proud to be the members of NABONNYAN, the Social Initiative, which has embodied their dream of serving the suffering humanity, which would not have been possible through their individual efforts. Nabonnayan started its journey with a Blood Donation Camp held, at Rampurhat in Birbhum District, West Bengal on 28.07.2002. Within the very first year of its formation, Nabonnayan reached a milestone when it adopted a village, Mangaldihi in Birbhum District, 15 Kms. away from Bolepur (Shantiniketan), for its all round development by undertaking a survey of the villagers.
Ten(10) tubewells were sunk at Mangaldihi to mitigate the hardship of the villagers who suffer from acute scarcity of drinking water. A two-day Health Camp was organized at Mangaldihi Village which was attended by a team of renowned Physicians and Surgeons from Kolkata, where free medicines were distributed to more than 500 people after diagnosis of the ailment. School books were also donated to the only library of the village.
The activities of NABONNYAN which were so long confined to Rural Bengal, reached out to serve the poor and needy people of the city of Kolkata as well when similar Health Awareness Camp was also organized at Sadananda Road Branch, Kolkata. With the good wishes and active participation of all its members, NABONNYAN is marching forward, to accomplish its Social Objectives.
NABONNYAN has adopted a school of mentally challenged children at Behala, Kolkata christened "BEHALA BIKASHAN". At present Behala Bikashan is providing effective training by trained teachers headed by a Principal. The mission was to uphold the idea that they are not a burden of the society rather they can contribute effectively to human resources.
In 2003, Behala Bikashan was invited & registered by National Trust under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment-New Delhi. It had also participated in an exhibition held at New Delhi by the Trust. From 2009 onwards, it has receiving a grant of Rs.2.00 lacs p.a. from the Government of West Bengal and the continuity of the grant is expected in the current fiscal.
AOUCB Benefit Fund is also another wing of the Association, which assists its members in case of any financial emergency. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees elected from amongst the members. Since its inception on 1st April, 1994, AOUCB Benefit Fund has been catering to the needs of its 2069 members by way of extending loans at marginal rate of interest as well as paying interest at competitive rate on the deposits of the members. The Fund is operating a Guest House at Gangtok to provide quality accommodation to the members and others at a fairly moderate tariff.
If one scans the names of functionaries of AOUCB since its inception, one will find that many of them at a later stage went up to become successful executives including Executive Director of the Bank.
At this juncture AOUCB looks forward with renewed zeal towards serving its members in particular and the officer community in general along with ensuring that its members are fully mobilized for the cause of their Mother Bank under the auspices of its parent body AIUCBOF.