Lanjigarh, Kalahandi District, Odisha; 20 November 2020: Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh, India’s premier producer of metallurgical grade alumina, has initiated ‘Energy Conservation Project’ for peripheral villages. The project has the objective to promote clean lighting and clean cooking in the villages of Lanjigarh. Under the project, the company recently distributed solar lights to every household in Dengsargi village through employee volunteerism program, an initiative designed to involve employees in community development projects.
The project has been launched by the company to ensure non-polluting, reliable and affordable source of energy for the community in a sustainable manner. The distribution of solar lights and fuel-efficient chullah under this project also aims to improve energy efficiency in the villages, increase study hours of children in the evening, reduce the respiratory health risks among women and children by eliminating the use of firewood and help increase the income and savings of the locals by providing access to energy in evening hours at an affordable rate. Prior to this, solar lights were also distributed in Sindhibahal village, which was appreciated by the villagers. Besides helping children study in the evening, these solar lights will also help women and other members of the family in fulfilling household chores at night. To promote clean cooking among the rural folk, Vedanta has conducted demonstrations on fuel-efficient chullah in villages and enrolled women associated with self-help groups under the central government’s Ujjwala scheme for LPG connection. With the aim to cover 15 peripheral villages in fiscal 2020-21 and transform 70 villages of Lanjigarh block into energy efficiency villages of Kalahandi district in three years, this program is a unique example of community development through innovation and employee volunteerism, converging community development initiatives of the company with government schemes. So far, about 50 households have been benefited by the project.
Referring to the initiative, Mr. Rakesh Mohan, Chief Operating Officer, Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh unit said, “Vedanta Lanjigarh has always worked towards socio-economic development of the community, with a focus on women and children, through impactful developmental interventions and social outreach programs. We develop effective solutions for the needs of the community, aimed at bettering the lives of the local populace and improving their standard of living. The energy conservation project which champions clean lighting and clean cooking fuel in villages is one such effort. We have always believed in being partners in progress for our communities, and our employees who volunteered to be a part of the solar light distribution program stand testimony to that.”
Appreciating the program, Sanjita Mishra, a student of Sindhibahal village said, “Earlier we had to depend on candles and fuel lanterns to study in the evening hours, mostly due to disruptions in electricity supply. Now, thanks to the solar lamps distributed by Vedanta, I have been able to extend my study hours well into the evening. The lamp is also helping my mother cook and do other household work at night with ease and comfort.”
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 about 60 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 60,000 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.