Bhubaneswar :Subhalaxmi Co-operative,one of India’s largest rural women’s co-operatives supported by Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, launched ‘Udyogini’ project to promote entrepreneurship among rural women residing in Jharsuguda and nearby areas. Subhalaxmi Co-operative is the flagship community development initiative of Vedanta Aluminium at Jharsuguda, with over 4,100 women members in its fold. The co-op works towards theempowerment of women by enabling aspiring women entrepreneurs with micro-finance, skill development, financial literacy and market linkage, for building sustainable livelihoods.
Under the Udyogini project, the co-op aims to increase its membership base to 10,000 in a few years’ time and enhance the income of itsmembers by at least 50%. The project was kickstarted with a two-dayorientation program on Co-operative Affairs &Management for the 15 newlyelected Board of Directors and other members. The program focused on promotion of entrepreneurship development and educated participants on the various facets of entrepreneurial policies, genesis, financial portfolios, etc.
The program,organized in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), was conducted by Mr. Santanu Mohanty, (Retd.) Senior Grade–A, Odisha Cooperative Service (OCS) Officer of the Government of Odisha (Cooperation & Agricultural Marketing Department) in the presence of Nilima Kujur, District Program Manager, Odisha Livelihood Mission, Jharsuguda,Mr. Sunil Gupta, CEO – Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda, and Mr. Rajkumar Pradhan, Branch Manager, IDBI Bank, Jharsuguda.
As part of the Udyogini project, the co-op will also build partnerships and resource convergence with government line departments and initiatives such as theOdisha Livelihood Mission, Mission Shakti, Integrated Tribal Development Agency, District Forest Department, and others, through which the co-op members can avail maximum benefits.
Appreciating the participants of the workshop and encouraging their entrepreneurial spirits, Mr. Sunil Gupta, CEO – Vedanta Ltd., Jharsugudasaid,“The Subhalaxmi Co-operative is a shining example of what corporate and community partnership can achieve, and the members of Subhalaxmi are prime testaments of true social & economic empowerment of rural women. Vedanta Jharsuguda is proud to have played a role in their success. With Project Subhalaxmi’s Udyogini, we will continue to enable them to pursue their aspirations, so they develop agency, become financially empowered and equal participants in development.”
Speaking about the positive impact of Vedanta’s Subhalaxmi Co-operative on their lives, Pankajini Oram, President of Subhalaxmi Co-operative, said, “The Subhalaxmi Co-operative has transformedlives of thousands of women like me in Jharsuguda by providing livelihood opportunities in the region.Each member of our co-operative is an excellent example of true empowerment that happens when one’s will to progress is empowered through skill development. I thank Vedanta for their constant support and believe that the new project will enable even more women of our societyto avail Subhalaxmi Co-op’s benefits.”
Highlights of Subhalaxmi Co-operative’s journey so far:
· One of India’s largest rural women’s co-operatives, that is a self-governed community with more than 4000 women in 338 Self-Help Groups
· Developingmore than 1,400 women entrepreneurs on farm & non-farm trades in the last 2 years alone
· Created a fund base of over INR 3.8 croresand conducted business of INR 35.8 crores since 2008.
· ‘Subhalaxmi Mahila Kalyan Panthi’ – a unique social welfare fundproviding financial support to expecting mothers, scholarships to meritorious students, support in case of demise of spouse, etc, to more than 1100 beneficiaries.
· Governed by 15 electedBoard of Directors and developed a cadre of women leaders through co-operative affairs and management workshops
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 4th in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2021 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.