Utkal Alumina’s Project Kaushalya powering the women of Rayagada

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Bhubaneswar: Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a unit of Aditya Birla Group’s project ‘Kaushalya’ has made a phenomenal difference to more than 150 rural women in the Rayagada district of Odisha.

In operation for nearly 5 years, under this project, women are trained in tailoring and applique making. This gives them a route to eke their livelihood over the long term. Women who benefitcome from the villages of Andirakanch, Maikanch, Nuagaon, Kanchguma and Ratachuan, all from the Rayagada district.

Alongside mastering the nuances of tailoring, these women are accorded training on cost calculation and production requirements of a tailoring unit. Furthermore, Utkal Alumina has been extending financial support to some of these women for securing the fabric and other stitching accessories. The minimum earning from this tailoring venture for every woman is in the region of Rs.3000/- to Rs.3500/- every month. In the deep interiors this amount goes a long way in raising the family’s living standard.

Lauding this initiative, Mr. N. Nagesh, Unit Head, who first steered this project and has now moved to Hindalco, Renukoot comments, “This is a very heart-warming project because we have been able to help so many women lead a better quality of life through economic independence. It has bolstered their confidence as well as self-esteem significantly. 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”.

In a similar vein, Mr. Susil Kumar Barada, the Industries Promotion Officer of Kashpur Block avers, “Utkal’s yeoman service in enabling women become self-reliant is indeed laudable. It would be worthwhile for Utkal to scale it up”.

Interestingly many of the women under this project now aspire to become entrepreneurs and set up their own tailoring units. They have been connected with the Regional Industry Centre, Rayagada, for availing of loans under the SilpiUnnatiYojana Scheme. Some of the women have been given financial support by the Tikiri Agro Craft Producer Company to enable themto start their tailoring ventures.

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