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Hindalco empowers women with tailoring skills through ‘Project Prerana’



As part of its initiatives to empower women and make them self-reliant, the Hirakud Unit of the Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco in Odisha has launched a host of programmes including tailoring training through ‘Project Prerana’ for local girls in and around its plant periphery.

The Sambalpur-based unit imparts tailoring training under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in areas like Budhakanta, Kenalpada, Ghatipada, Kisanpada, Nuagujatal, Ricksawpara, Gundurpara, Shaktinagar, Christianpara and Hirakud town etc, said Kailash Pandey, Head of Hindalco-Hirakud Cluster.

Stating that making women self-reliant has always been a thrust area for the group, Pandey said economic empowerment of women has become a major development priority. “When a woman is empowered, her entire family, especially children, reap the benefits, which also helps increase human development index,” he added.

 “Over 578 girls and women have so far been benefited from the training programmes, held in six-month batches. Training classes are currently being held at Hirakud Town, Gadamunda and Budhakanta villages,” informed Hindalco Hirakud Complex Head, Krishna Padhi.

The Budhakanta training centre was inaugurated recently.

Some women, who have been benefited from Hindalco’s training sessions, have started home-based tailoring centres. A few like Sanjetta Oram, Alka Rani Barik and L Santoshin Reddy have now become Trainers.

A school dropout, 26-year-old Bharati Bisoi of Jhankarpara says she attended the tailoring training sessions conducted by Hindalco’s CSR team and later formed a self-help group (SHG) – “Sanskruti” – which has received a contract to stitch uniform for a government girls’ high school.

Tanushree Sahu, President of “Annapurna” SH, expressed her gratitude to Hindalco’s CSR team for imparting the much-needed training, extending support, and helping women like her improve their standard of living. During this pandemic, she has stitched more than 10,000 masks and earned well.

Another beneficiary Santhoshi Reedy thanks Hindalco as she is now earning Rs 8000 per month after getting trained in tailoring.

Lauding the initiative, Sambalpur DSWO Gitanjali Mahapatra said efforts of the company towards women empowerment are praiseworthy. “These tailoring training sessions are not only improving women’s skills but also making them financially self-sufficient,” she added.

In Odisha, the Aditya Birla Group reaches out to more than 5 lakh people touching more than 2 lakh lives in the 128 villages of five districts.

Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, has outlined the Group CSR vision, which 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”.

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