UAIL’s Project Saksham Empowering women in Rayagada

Bhubaneswar: Aditya Birla Group’s Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL),is engaged deeply in meaningful welfare initiatives in communities living in proximity of its plant. One of its project “Project Saksham” is reaching out to the unemployed rural women and through income generation helping them become self-reliant.

Since its commencement in February 2015, it has trained around 87marginalizedwomen. These women have been given an intense 6 months training in tailoring catering to every need. During the training period, participants learnt basic machine operations, cutting and stitching of dress materials such as tops, kurtis, chudidar, salwar kameez, skirts, shirts, trousers and many more.UAIL has provided these women with the state of the art 30 sewing machines. In those six months, these enthusiastic women had mastered the art of stitching garments and most of the uniforms are stitched by them. Among their patronisers are from schools (Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya– Nawarangpur, Malkangiri, EMRS, Nabarangpur, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya – Koraput, Anganwadi Centres, GNFA school, Tikiri, Aditya Birla Public School, Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir, Rayagada), shirts, kids dress for Private vendors (Ms/ Hirawats – Visakhapatnam, M/s Ram & Sons and S R Vendor, Vizag, BOYANIKA” M/s. Ludupali Khadi & Silk Weaving Samiti, Bargarh).

Alongside they make fancy dresses for children and shirts for companies such as Hindalco- Power, Smelter & Flat Rolled Product (FRP) at Sambalpur, Aditya Aluminium, Lapanga, UAIL, Utkal Hospital at Tikri,Hindalcoat Belur, Gare Palma, & Essel Mining at Barbil etc. The Aditya Birla Group is their strongest supporter.

Besides, they have made nearly 1 lac face masks so far.

Several women who have reaped a rich economic reward, thank to this project and have acknowledged UAIL’s initiative. Listen to Madhusmita Benia (36) of Kampar who works in the manufacturing unit. She is happy that she has now a substantial incomeof Rs 10,000/- every month. Besides running the house, she financially supports her brother who is pursuing an engineering course.

In Project Saksham, Banita Majhi, (22) from Naktiguda village has played an important role.She is the spirit behind the making of masks. She feels that besides earning a livelihood, this is her way of giving back to the society, helping them stem the corona virus attack though the use of face mask.

Interacting with the trainees, Mr. Mazhar Baig, who heads UAIL urged them “to put in their best efforts in learning the advanced skills required to produce designer clothes.” Reposing faith in the trainees and trainers, he hoped that the products from the unit would certainly carve out a niche for themselves in the market and said “this initiative will empower and transform the lives of the rural women for a better tomorrow”. Elaborating further Mr. Baig says, “We are much encouraged by our iconic Chairperson, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, who believes that we must Engage, Uplift and Empower our women”. Our Project is in line with her vision. “This is a small step in our journey to help the underprivileged women stand on their own feet. It has bolstered their confidence as well as self-esteem significantly, adds Mr Baig.

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