International Day of Rural Women: Vedanta Aluminum enables the participation of rural women in national development
New Delhi: Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest aluminum producer, empowers thousands of rural women with skills, financial literacy, resource, technology and market access and social protection programs, making them equal participants in national socio-economic development. The company works on the fundamental principle that involving rural women in the Sustainable Development Goals will be crucial to reducing poverty and ending hunger.
In Odisha and Chhattisgarh, where Vedanta Aluminum operates, the company empowers women economically, politically and socially. These interventions, which now benefit more than 13,000 women, demonstrate the company’s commitment to the global goals of no poverty, zero hunger and gender equality. fast food centers, art and decoration items, poultry and vegetable farms, grocery stores, beauty salons, sewing centers and many more.
Some of the programs include:
Subhalaxmi Cooperative: Subhalaxmi Co-op, one of India’s largest rural women’s cooperatives based in Jharsuguda, Odisha, works at the intersection of sustainable livelihoods and women’s empowerment. Created by Vedanta Aluminum in 2008, it now has more than 4,100 female members, from 72 villages. The cooperative provides aspiring women entrepreneurs with access to micro-finance, skills development, financial literacy, market connections and a support system of thousands of equally ambitious women. It also links them to various government welfare programs.
Unnati: Under “Unnati”, BALCO, the subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminum based in Chhattisgarh, the company mobilizes women in self-help groups (SHGs) and develops their skills to create sustainable livelihoods. Through this project, BALCO helps women create an effective framework of self-help groups and federations that enables them to access micro-finance services, engage in income-generating and sustainable livelihood activities and economically empowered. In this year alone, 90 new self-help groups have been formed, bringing the total to over 450 self-help groups and 5,000 women members who greatly benefit from the project’s various training modules.
Sakhi Project: With “Sakhi”, an initiative to empower women through vocational training and income generation opportunities, Vedanta Aluminum promotes social and financial inclusion, income generation and business promotion in a region underserved like Lanjigarh, in Kalahandi, Odisha. A federation called the Shaktimayee Foundation was created to help women establish links with the market to promote and sell their products, while guiding them in accessing social security services and institutional credit resources. Sakhi focuses on integrating different income-generating activities in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and creating an enabling environment for nearly 4,000 women to develop better agency and decision-making skills.
Reiterating the business development agenda on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, Mr. Rahul Sharma, CEO of Vedanta Aluminum said, “The participation of women in the socio-economic and political sphere, especially rural belts of India, will be crucial to achieving lasting results in quality education, access to health care, gender equality, poverty reduction and eradication of hunger and malnutrition. And therefore, Vedanta Aluminum strives to bridge this disparity by giving them the skills, knowledge and resources they need to empower themselves. We aim to significantly increase the reach of our development programs in the coming years and, at the same time, adapt our programs to help these women become resilient to change.
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest aluminum producer, producing more than half of India’s aluminium, or 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. is a leader in value-added aluminum products that find critical applications in basic industries. Vedanta Aluminum ranks 4th in the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Global Rankings for the Aluminum Industry, a reflection of its sustainability practices. With its world-class aluminum smelters, alumina refineries and power plants in India, the company is fulfilling its mission to drive emerging applications of aluminum as the “metal of the future” for a greener future. www.vedantaaluminium.com.