IndiaCSR News Network
UDAIPUR: “Self-help-groups are change agent and play an important role in bringing forward rural and tribal women. These self-help-groups act as catalyst of change and bring socio-economic empowerment and make these rural women independent and confident” said Rajasthan Chief Minister, Smt. Vasundhara Raje. The Rajasthan Chief Minister was speaking during the “Hindustan Zinc ‘Sakhi’ Awards” function being organized in Jaipur where she was the Chief Guest.
It was a day of reckoning for 22 awardees in three categories – eight rural women entrepreneurs, seven self–help-groups and seven NGOs who have been working tirelessly towards socio-economic empowerment of rural & tribal women of Rajasthan. The awards were given away by the Rajasthan Chief Minister, Smt. Vasundhara Raje.
Chairman, Vedanta Group – Mr. Anil Agarwal, who had travelled from London directly to attend the ‘Hindustan Zinc Sakhi Awards’ function, spoke about “Sakhi” campaign and assured to bring more women in the “Sakhi” network to improve their social and economic condition. He also said, Chief Minister Rajasthan is the biggest “Sakhi” and her inspiration and advice would keep this momentum alive in Rajasthan”.
“Hindustan Zinc ‘Sakhi’ Awards” were presented amidst presence of over 200 people in SMS Convention Centre, Jaipur, that also saw participation of over 125 rural and tribal ‘Sakhi’ women travelling from across Rajasthan.
Hindustan Zinc has been engaged in empowerment of rural women through formation of self-help-groups since 2006. Each group has about 12-15 rural women and these women are being developed as rural women entrepreneurs, who are now managing their own micro-enterprises. Hindustan Zinc has developed such 475 self-help-groups in Rajasthan reaching out to 6,000 rural and tribal women.
All these groups are popularly known as “Sakhi’-Self-help-groups” and these rural entrepreneurs are addressed as ‘Sakhi’.
“Sakhi” campaign of Hindustan Zinc has brought focus towards the need for social and economic empowerment of these rural women. The self-help-group training starts with teaching them thrift savings, linking them with banks and then segregating them as per their interests for extensive vocational training in farm and non-farm based sector.
With the empowerment has come the awareness and importance of sanitation, education, health and nutrition amongst these women. They are now regularly sending their children to school.
While facilitating the awardees, Rajasthan Chief Minister interacted with each awardee asking them about their success and contribution to the society. She also asked women awardees to take up cleanliness as important part of their day to day activity and should motivate other people in their villages to follow the same.
Smt. Vasundhara Raje stressed on the need for online marketing of products made by these ‘Sakhi’ rural women. “The products of these women entrepreneurs should be sold online. This would encourage buyers across the world and the economic condition of these rural women will further improve”, she said.
The Rajasthan Chief Minister unveiled Hindustan Zinc ‘Sakhi’ Calendar-2015 that showcased the entrepreneurship of “Sakhi’-self-help-group” women.
Speaking on the occasion the CEO-Hindustan Zinc, Akhilesh Joshi, assured for further advance training to these rural and tribal women and for finding more avenues for linking their products to a wider market so that their profit margins increases. He also mentioned that the campaigns started during the earlier tenure of Smt. Vasundhara Raje as Chief Minister of Rajasthan have gained momentum and this momentum would continue with her guidance and advice.”
Also present on the occasion were senior management officials of Hindustan Zinc – Sunil Duggal- Dy.CEO, CSR Mehta – Head(CR), L.S. Shekhawat -COO (Mines), Vikas Sharma – COO (Smelters), Kabir Ghosh – Head (TM), Rajesh Mohata VP (M&C), Birendra Mohapatra Head (HR) and Preeti Dubey – Head (IR).