As part of its bid to empower women and make them self-reliant, Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco’s Hirakud unit in Odisha has launched a host of programmes including tailoring training to local girls in and around its plant periphery.
The Sambalpur-based unit imparts tailoring training under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in areas like Dengimacha, Nuagujatal, Ricksawpara, Gundurpara, Shaktinagar, Christianpara and Hirakud town, Head of Hindalco-Hirakud, Rajesh Kumar Gupta, said.
Stating that making women self-reliant has always been a thrust area for the group, Gupta said economic empowerment of women has become a major development priority.
“When a woman is empowered, her entire family, especially children, reap the benefits, which also helps increase human development index,” he said.
“Over 400 girls and women have so far benefitted from the training programmes, held in six-month batches. Training classes are currently being held at Vegerapali. Lariapara and Rickshawpara villages,” Sibanand Mohanty, DGM External Affairs and CSR, HIndalco, said.
Some women, who have benefitted from Hindalco’s training sessions, have started home-based tailoring centres. Others have benefitted by doing minor alterations on their own. A few like Bharati Bisoi, Alka Rani Barik and Lirima Nayak are now teachers themselves, company officials said.
A school dropout, 26-year-old Bharati Bisoi of Jhankarpara says she attended the tailoring training sessions conducted by Hindalco’s CSR team and later formed a self-help group (SHG) – “Sanskruti” – which has received a contract to stitch uniform for a government girls’ high school.
Tanushree Sahu, President of “Annapurna” SH, whose husband is differently-abled, expressed her gratitude to Hindalco’s CSR team for imparting much-needed training, extending support and helping women like her improve their standard of living.
Presently, her self-help group is involved in supplying commercial cloth gloves to the Hirakud Power Plant.
Lauding the initiative, Programme Officer of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Hidakud, Jhunu Swain said efforts of the company towards women empowerment are praisworthy.
“These tailoring training sessions are not only improving women’s skills but is also making them financially secure,” she said.
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