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15th March 2023

BALCO champions women’s empowerment through Unnati Utsav

Balconagar, March 15, 2023:  Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer, organized ‘Unnati Utsav’ to commemorate International Women’s Day based on the theme ‘Embrace Equity’. In the presence of more than 500 women from different Self-Help Groups (SHGs) established by BALCO under its community development project Unnati, SHG workers were felicitated for their outstanding achievement at the state and national level. These community champions were felicitated for their outstanding achievements in various CSR schemes of BALCO like ‘Unnati’, ‘Nayi Kiran’, ‘Mor Jal Mor Maati’, ‘Arogya’ and ‘Vedanta Skill School’. Stalls by women entrepreneurs, a play performed by the SHGs, and cultural activities centered around project ‘Unnati’ were the other attractions of the event. The program also featured a ‘Walk of Equity’, where participants from various backgrounds, such as farmers, adolescent girls and boys, transgender individuals, BALCO employees, and SHG women came together to showcase the strength in diversity and reiterated BALCO’s commitment of embracing equity.

During the program, BALCO applauded community champions who have actively participated in various training programs and have made a significant impact in their communities with their learnings. Dhaneshwari Goswami was one of the champions applauded for becoming a master trainer in chocolate production. Piyush Kumar was recognized for his contribution to the Nayi Kiran initiative and his efforts in raising funds for the distribution of sanitary napkins among his female batchmates. Rekha Dahariya was acknowledged for her role in training community women in stitching, empowering them to become financially independent through the Unnati Project. Overall, 13 community champions were recognized for their outstanding efforts in entrepreneurship, health awareness, skill development, and more. The awardees expressed their gratitude towards BALCO for its initiatives and the positive impact they have made in their lives.

Appreciating the positive impact of the Project Unnati, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Director, BALCO, said, “Project ‘Unnati’ is aimed at promoting financial empowerment of women which can help them in establishing their individualistic identity in the society and enable them to contribute towards the growth and progress of their families, society, and nation. BALCO is committed to supporting women from local communities in their journey of self-empowerment by enabling them with skills training, financial literacy, market linkage and similar initiatives.”

Recently, BALCO also launched SHG sanitary pad manufacturing micro-enterprise called ‘UnNaree’, under which women will be trained to manufacture and sell sanitary pads. This is a leap towards ensuring good menstrual health in the region and creates additional income streams for SHG members.

Project Unnati focuses on empowering and mobilizing women into SHGs and honing their capacities and skills for entrepreneurship and building sustainable livelihoods. In this fiscal itself, 90 new SHGs were formed, taking the total number to 450+ SHGs with more than 5,000 women who greatly benefit under the various training modules of the project.

In addition to empowering women within communities, BALCO is dedicated to fostering a diverse workplace culture that promotes the growth and development of the organization. The company has implemented various initiatives and workshops focused on women’s safety and security, health and wellness, and skill enhancement. BALCO recognizes the importance of leadership diversity and is working towards increasing the same through its talent development programs. Furthermore, BALCO is amongst the country’s few manufacturing companies with transgender employees in core operations.

Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) is India’s iconic aluminium producer. It is owned 49% by the Government of India and 51% by Vedanta Limited. BALCO is part of Vedanta’s Aluminium Business, a division of Vedanta Limited, which is India’s largest manufacturer of aluminium. BALCO operates a 0.57 million tonne per annum aluminium smelter in Korba, Chhattisgarh. It is also a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. With its world-class smelter and power plants, the company fulfills its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

About Vedanta Limited

Vedanta Limited, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Limited, is one of the world’s leading Oil & Gas and Metals company with significant operations in Oil & Gas, Zinc, Lead, Silver, Copper, Iron Ore, Steel, and Aluminium & Power across India, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia. For two decades, Vedanta has been contributing significantly to nation building. Governance and sustainable development are at the core of Vedanta's strategy, with a strong focus on health, safety, and environment. Giving back is in the DNA of Vedanta, which is focused on enhancing the lives of local communities. Under the aegis of Vedanta Cares, the flagship social impact program, Nand Ghars have been set up as model anganwadis focused on eradicating child malnutrition, providing education, healthcare, and empowering women with skill development. Vedanta and its group companies have been featured in Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2020, and were conferred Frost & Sullivan Sustainability Awards 2020, CII Environmental Best Practices Award 2020, CSR Health Impact Award 2020, CII National Award 2020 for Excellence in Water Management, CII Digital Transformation Award 2020, ICSI National Award 2020 for excellence in Corporate Governance, People First HR Excellence Award 2020, ‘Company with Great Managers 2020’ by People Business and certified as a Great Place to Work 2021. Vedanta’s flagship Nand Ghar Project was identified as best CSR project by the Government of Rajasthan. Vedanta Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in India and has ADRs listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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