BHUBANESWAR: Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a unit of Aditya Birla Group, launched ‘Project Kaushalya’ and has been administering it in an endeavour to empower women from the rural communities in the vicinity of its project.
Since its inception in September 2015, the project has trained more than 70 women in tailoring and has created sustainable livelihood opportunities for them in the peripheral villages of Utkal Alumina mines in Odisha.
In the first batch, 38 women from five villages – Andirakanch, Maikanch, Nuagaon, Kanchguma and Ratachuan – of Rayagada district were imparted trainings on basic machine operations, cutting, and stitching of dress materials. In addition to this, the trainees were educated on cost calculation and production system of a tailoring unit. After completing their training, a few women have engaged themselves in stitching for garment units located in and around their villages.
Utkal Alumina has been supporting working capital for some trainees for procuring cloth materials and stitching accessories. A lot of women now stitch petticoats and sell their products at the local weekly markets and other nearby markets, thus earning Rs. 2,000-2,500 per month. This has enabled them provide financial support to their families.
“It is encouraging to see the results of Project Kaushalya. The trainings have been helping these women become economically independent and have a better quality of life. This has boosted their confidence and self-esteem significantly,” said N. Nagesh, Unit Head, UAIL. Lauding the initiative taken by UAIL, Sushil Kumar Barda, the Industries Promotion Officer of Tikiri Block said, “UAIL has been doing a yeoman’s job by helping unemployed rural women engage in a sustainable livelihood and become self-reliant. I urge the company to include more and more women in the project and help them lead a dignified life.”
Meanwhile, eight women who have completed their training have evinced interest in setting up their own tailoring units, and have been linked with the Regional Industries Centre, Rayagada for loan under Silpi Unnati Yojana Scheme.