BHUBANESWAR: Aditya Birla Group’s Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), is engaged deeply in meaningful welfare initiatives in communities living in proximity of its plant. One of its project “Project Kaushalya” is reaching out to the unemployed rural women and through income generation helping them become self-reliant. Since its commencement in September 2015, it has trained more than 175 women in Tailoring & Applique making and has created sustainable livelihood opportunities for them in the peripheral villages of Baphlimali mines. At present around 25 women from the mining peripheral village are being imparted training in applique making along with tailoring.
Says, M Beig, the Unit Head of UAIL, “Women from peripheral villages of Utkal Alumina like Andirakanch, Maikanch, Nuagaon, Kanchguma, Jogiparitunda and Ratachuan – of Rayagada district were imparted trainings on latest techniques to cater to the current market demand in tailoring and applique making. After completion of the training, the trainees are being encouraged to take up Tailoring as their individual enterprises with the loan support from RIC (Regional Industries Centre), SBRESETI (State Bank Rural Self Employment Training Institute) and Tirkiri Agro Craft Producer Company Ltd.”
Meanwhile, eight women who have completed their training have evinced interest in setting up their own tailoring units, and have been linked with the RIC Rayagada for availing loan under SilpiUnnati Yojana Scheme. Apart from this, another 10 trainees have been given loan support from Tikiri Agro Craft Producer Company Ltd. to start individual enterprise. Currently 25 girls from Andirakanch, Nuagaon and Kanchguma villages are being trained in applique work at Nuagaon under project Kaushalya.
Based on working capital support from Utkal Alumina, an increasing number of women earn between Rs.3000-3500/- per month, enabling them to raise the living standard of their families.
“During the last wave of COVID 19 pandemic,18 girls from Jogiparitunda, Hatikhaman and Dandamunda villages, stitched 64,715 face masks, generating a collective income flow of Rs.2,58,860/-. To many of them we supplied sewing machines to enable them set up their own enterprises”, adds Beig.
In Odisha, the Aditya Birla Group reaches out to more than 5 lakh people touching lives of over 2 lakh people criss-crossing 128 villages spanning five districts. The Group’s CSR programmes are being driven by Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development whose vision: “is to actively contribute to the social and economic development of the communities in which we operate. In sync with the UN SDGs our endeavour is to lift the burden of poverty weighing down the underserved and foster inclusive growth. In doing so, build a better, sustainable way of life for the weaker and marginalized sections of society”.