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Hindalco’s ‘Project Swabalambi’ empowers Sambalpur women



     Nilima Sahu from the Hirakud village of Sambalpur district who was once struggling to meet both ends, is a happy women now as she is supporting her family income now, thanks to the “Project Swabalambi” of Hindalco. “Project Swabalambi” has brought a sea change in the life of Nilima Sahu and families like hers.

Hindalco, Hirakud, a unit of Aditya Birla Group, started “Project Swabalambi” for empowering the women of Sambalpur by forming self-help groups (SHGs) for the socio-economic upliftment of the women living in its plant periphery.

“We are concerned about the welfare of women from this region and by promoting the SHGs we want to instill among them a sense of entrepreneurship and independence so that they can live with dignity and self-esteem. Our engagement not only promotes SHGs but empowers women to become entrepreneurs by helping them to start independent business such as tailoring, phenyl making etc. Members of these groups were imparted capacity building training to understand the intricacies of SHG management. They were linked with banks, and financial assistance was arranged for them to engage in various income-generating activities such as production of hand gloves, preparation of processed food items, mushroom cultivation, floriculture, horticulture, dairy, piggery, Satu making, grass broom making, phenyl production, tailoring activities, and handicrafts besides involvement in mid-day meal project and PDS activities. These activities resulted in remarkable changes in the economic condition of the members,” said Kailash Pandey, Head of Hindalco’s Hirakud Cluster.

“The project which started with just 25 SHGs, is having 64 SHGs with 765 members under its umbrella now, and Rs. 83.25 lakh savings in their bank accounts. These SHGs also availed loans amounting to Rs.95.75 lakh from nationalized banks to undertake income generation activities,” he added.

Members of various SHGs expressed gratitude to Hindalco for introducing such initiatives that brought positive changes in their lives and socio-economic status.

“Here we are working not only for our earning but also helping ICDS by providing hygienic foods for children. We are thankful to Aditya Birla Group in general and Hindalco CSR Department in particular for providing us opportunity for formation of SHG and coordinating with government machinery for increasing our supply to the government,” said Tanushree Sahu, President, Annapurna SHG, Gandhinagar which supplies chhatua to Anganwadi centers.

Lauding Hindalco’s welfare measures for the community, Dhankauda Block CDPO Puspanjali Mishra said: “Hindalco’s efforts towards women empowerment are a good initiative for the development of society and it makes the female mass self-sustainable and most of the SHGs are getting bank linkage facility with social security coverage and able to help their families both socially and economically.”

As a responsible corporate citizen and driven by the constant motivation to give back to society, the Aditya Birla Group reaches out to more than 5 lakh people touching over 2 lakh lives in 128 villages in Odisha. The Group’s CSR is conducted under the aegis of the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development chaired by Rajashree Birla.  The Group’s vision is to actively contribute to the social and economic development of the communities in which we operate. In doing so, build a better, sustainable way of life for the weaker sections of society. And raise the country’s human development index. The Group’s CSR vision is aligned with UNSDG goals to eliminate poverty and ensure freedom from hunger. 

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