BHUBANESHWAR: The malady of women living in rural areas, is often having not enough financial resources to meet their food needs. This leads to malnutrition and other disorders. Typically, the income from small landholdings and agricultural harvests lasts only for six months. Take the example of Sebati Padhan from Dhorropani village of Rengali block in Sambalpur district. She was a daily labourer barely scraping together enough for one square meal a day. Sebati and her husband come from the poor OBC Community. Though they were both working as daily labourers, it became impossible to make ends. No matter how long and hard they worked, there was very little money to keep them afloat. Work too, came off and on, sometimes in trickles, sometimes not at all. So often they went to bed on hungry and starved stomach.
But life changed one day for Sebati and her husband, and families like theirs when She was lapped into the SHG mode of operation. This is an Aditya Aluminium CSR initiative of Aditya Birla Group. She learnt about the methods and guidelines of the SHG. After a few months the group began preparing phenyl and suppling it to companies for their domestic consumption and market nearby. This idea created a new stir among the group members and they are trained by the professional hired by Aditya Aluminium’s CSR-wing. Production of the phenyl has gone up and there is a continuous demand from the corporates nearby. Aditya Aluminium became the first consumer of the product. As of now, they have produced 1325 nos of units till date and net profit of more than Rs 30000/- within a year. At present, the continuous demand from the corporates nearby the production of the phenyl has gone up to 600 liters a month.
Like Sebati, many other women from the adjacent villages of Dhorropani of Rengali block have benefitted from the SHG promoted by Aditya Aluminium. These women weremostly illiterateand had neither the skills nor the courage to start something on their own. But Aditya Aluminium has brought a ray of light into their lives.
Aditya Aluminium’s empowerment schemes are touching and changing lives in Sambalpur. As of now, the company is supporting 51 SHGs comprising of 550 women in Rengali block.
Initially, these SHGs were taught how to mobilize savings, maintain accounts, become familiar with inter-lending norms and establish credit linkages with banks.
Once the members became familiar with these, Aditya Aluminium undertook a second phase of development by running training programs on system establishment and norm setting, book keeping, leadership development, communication, conflict resolution, etc. All of this hard work has shown results and today some of the Self Help Groups promoted by Aditya Aluminium are at a stagewhere they can take up certain income generation activities.
Kailash Pandey, the President and Unit Head of Aditya Aluminium says, “We are concerned about the welfare of womenfrom this region and by promoting the SHGs wewant to imbibe a sense of entrepreneurship and independence. We have seen visible progress in this regard in Rengali block. We are not only promoting SHGs, but are also empowering women to start businesses like poultry farming and tailoring. “
“We have motivated them to become self-starters and start entrepreneurial activity. The feel has brought a sense of pride and dignity in their lives. We will add many more activities in the days to come and our endeavor will be to position the woman in the house as an important earning member of the family. When a woman is empowered, she will make sure that children get educated and every member of the family gets access to health care and lives a better life in general,” asserts Mr Pandey.