Bhubaneswar: While there have been several initiatives and schemes launched by Odisha Government for empowerment of women in the state both economically and socially, industrial houses in the state have lately also stepped in especially in terms of imparting skill based training leading to self employment of rural women.
Leading corporate group, the Aditya Birla Group’s Sambalpur-based Hindalco Hirakud unit has been imparting tailoring training to local girls and women, in and around its plant periphery, covering areas of Dengimacha, Nuajamda, Nuagujatal, Rickshawpara, Gundurpara, Shaktinagar, Christianpara and areas of Hirakud town, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives,
“Training programmes are held in six-month batches on rotation – a batch is started when a sizable group of women from a particular village show interest in receiving training. Over 400 girls and women have benefited from the programme, with training classes currently being held at Vegerapali, Lariapara and Rickshawpara areas”, said Shivanand Mohanty DGM External Affairs and CSR, Hindalco.
Stating that economic empowerment of women has become a major development priority, Head of Hindalco Hirakud unit Rajesh Kumar Gupta said “Making women self-reliant has always been a key thrust area for the Group. When a woman is empowered, her entire family, especially her children reap the benefits, which also helps increase human development index” he added.
Some women, who have benefitted from Hindalco’s tailoring training sessions, have started home-based tailoring centres, while others have benefitted by doing minor alterations on their own. A few, like Bharati Bisoi, Alka Rani Barik and Lirima Nayak are now teachers themselves.
A school dropout, Bharati Bisoi, of Jhankarpara, aged 26 years, 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 uniforms for the Government Girls High School, Hirakud.
Tanushree Sahu, President ‘Annapurna’ SHG, whose husband is differently-abled, expressed her gratitude to Hindalco’s CSR team for imparting much-needed training, extending support, and helping women, like her, improve their standard of living. Presently, her self-help group is involved in supplying commercial cloth gloves to the Hirakud power plant.
Lauding the initiative, Programme Officer, Hirakud ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) Ms. Jhunu Swain noted, “The efforts of the Company towards women empowerment are praiseworthy. With these tailoring training sessions, not only is the company improving women’s skills but is also making them financially secure”.