Bhubaneswar: Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh, India’s premier producer of metallurgical grade alumina,has launched ‘Sashakti Suvidha Kendra’ to help local women sustain their livelihood through the various challenges posed by the pandemic. The Sashakti Suvidha Kendras are aimed at facilitating the marketing and sales of various products made by the women’s self-help groups (SHGs)like turmeric, ragi, various spices, dry snacks, puffed rice, pulses, rice, paper plates, phenyl, soft brooms, etc.
Mr. G.G Pal, Dy. CEO – Alumina Business, inaugurated the Sashakti Suvidha Kendra along withMr. Javed Khan, Block Program Coordinator, Lanjigarh. It has been set up by Vedanta at Champadeipur, Lanjigarh, in association with Shaktimayee Foundation, the apex body of Vedanta’s Sakhi Project for women empowerment. Driven by the objective to enable women through financial empowerment especially when the entire nation faces the challenge of COVID-19, this initiative aims to cover over 3000 SHG members across 44 villages in the catchment of Vedanta Lanjigarh.
Talking about this initiative, Mr. G.G. Pal, Deputy CEO – AluminaBusiness, said, “Vedanta has always made the effort to catalyze positive transformation in the lives of communities residing in the periphery of its operations.The women members of the SHGs in and around Lanjigarh have paved their path towards self-reliance and self-empowerment over the years and Vedanta is proud to be an enabler in their journey. Our Sashakti Suvidha Kendra will provide these spirited women entrepreneurs a platform to sell their products profitably and provide for their families, even amidst the pandemic.”
Acknowledging Vedanta’s efforts, Mr. Javed Khan, Block Program Coordinator, Lanjigarh said, “I am glad that Vedanta and Shaktimayee Foundation have partnered to provide the opportunity and platform to the women of Lanjigarh, to become self-empowered. This initiative of providing a marketing facilitation centre will not only support the self-help groups in having a structured way of selling their products and gain due financial gains, but also help them cope up with the ongoing pandemic.”
Vedanta Lanjigarh, as part of its efforts towards women empowerment, has offered many livelihood enhancement, skill development and capacity building opportunities to women over the years.The company has also taken up several new livelihood projects that includes backyard poultry, mushroom cultivation, horticulture through Mo-Bagicha program, Saura tribal art revival, fish farming through biofloc method, etc. During the period of lockdown last year, Vedanta also enlisted these SHGs to stitch masks for mass distribution among communities, which provided them with an alternate source of income during the distressing times.
Vedanta’s social interventions in the domains of sustainable livelihood, women empowerment, quality education, health, water and sanitation, bio-investment and community infrastructure reach out to a total of 69 villages in Lanjigarh and nearby areas, benefiting about a lakh people in a year. It empowers more than 3000 women from 305 self-help groups (SHGs), provides healthcare services to about 30,000 people annually, gives educational support to more than 2800 students, has planted more than 5.4 lakh trees in the community, and built 500 plus infrastructural projects at community level.
Vedanta is the largest producer of aluminium in India and remains the premier manufacturer of metallurgical grade alumina. The company operates a 2 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) capacity alumina refinery in Lanjigarh (Kalahandi district, Odisha), India since 2007 and an associated 90 MW captive power plant.