NEW DELHI: As a fitting tribute to Vedanta’s long-standing and ongoing efforts within the community, the company’s Lanjigarh (Odisha) unit recently won an award in the Innovative Award for Tribal Art and Dhokra Art Projects category for its ‘Aajeevika’ initiative at the India CSR Awards (Giving Back India CSR Leadership Summit) 2019, held on April 1 at New Delhi.
The initiative started by Vedanta in the past year focuses on nurturing the talents of tribal artisans by providing various kinds of platforms and training facilities. Over time, the initiative nurtured the potential of local artisans to develop tribal paintings notably the Saura art form, and the Dhokra art form that facilitated its re-introduction to the mainstream art world.
Rakesh Mohan, COO – Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh unit, said, “By reviving these traditional and soon to be lost art forms, we have enabled many local artisans and budding female artists to explore their inherent skills and channelize them to develop a source of sustenance. This award is a great tribute to our commitment to the community and to our partnership with them in pushing this art form into the mainstream of Indian art.”
Dhokra is an ancient folk art tradition, which originated in India but isnow only prevalent in few regions of India including Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal and some parts of Chhattisgarh. The Dhokra artists use the lost-wax casting technique to create these non-ferrous metal sculptures. Vedanta provided the artisans with the requisite tools and training that enabled them to refine their artistic skills and create finer pieces of work.
Vedanta also arranged for adequate credentials for the artisans that allowed them to exhibit their creations at various exhibitions, folk fairs and market places. They have started earning while in training, boosting their confidence to earn their livelihood as an artist. As a result, several families that had migrated in search of livelihoods and sustenance have recently returned to their original homes and now live and work on their traditional art with dignity.
Vedanta’s focus on tribal paintings is an attempt by the company to revive the traditional art forms, which may soon be lost. Additionally, it is also an opportunity to provide local artisans a platform to realise their potential and revive the art form using their talents. The unit has established a Tribal Painting training academy that provides tools and training facilities to the young girls of the local community practicing Saura art form. Besides the training academy, the company is also supporting them with various marketing platforms to display their products before interested national and international customer clusters that facilitate these girls to use their artistry to earn livelihood.
The India CSR Awards is one of the most prestigious platforms that recognise and honour innovative CSR, sustainability and social enterprise projects. Celebrating five years of CSR Legislation in India, the event witnessed participation by eminent delegates of the industry, corporate professionals and government officials from all over the country.
Rusen Kumar, Founder and Managing Editor of India CSR Group; Actor Rahul Roy and Martin Neureiter, President & CEO, CSR Company International conferred the award in the presence of 300 CSR leaders.