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28th December 2023

BALCO promotes increased community awareness on HIV/AIDS through month-long campaign

Balconagar, December 28th, 2023: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a unit of Vedanta Aluminium, has concluded a comprehensive month-long AIDS awareness drive aimed at empowering the communities in the vicinity of its operations. Commencing on World AIDS Day (December 1), the initiative was organized in partnership with the District Health Department as part of BALCO’s Project Arogya, successfully reaching out to over 26,000 people in Korba, Chhattisgarh.

The primary objective of the extensive campaign was to heighten community awareness on HIV/AIDS through wider information dissemination, combating stigma and advocating for preventive measures particularly within high-risk behavior groups and youths. A multipronged approach was employed through the launch of the ‘Jagrukta Rath’ in collaboration with the District Health Department, which employed audio-visual aids and informational material.

Additionally, the campaign included group awareness sessions in high-risk areas within the community, partnering with health experts and community members to sensitize parents and youths on several safety and prevention strategies related to HIV/AIDS. Peer learning was facilitated through a ‘Youth Chaupal’ where adolescent girls and boys were trained to become community advocates promoting deeper awareness of HIV/AIDS within their communities. The initiative also reached out to over 500 students across local schools and colleges. The aim was to equip them with essential knowledge, foster empathy, and encourage responsible behavior.

Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Director, BALCO said, “We envision a future where greater knowledge and awareness can act as a powerful shield against social health concerns such as HIV. Through this month-long initiative, we aim to foster a more informed society, reduce further transmission of the illness and support healthier living. Our heath interventions are a testament to our pledge towards cultivating a brighter and equitable future for all community members.

Highlighting the significance of the campaign, Dr. S.N. Keshari, Chief Medical and Health Officer, District Hospital, Korba, said, “I urge each citizen to step forward, seek knowledge, and be aware of their HIV/AIDS status. Every development block and district has integrated testing and counseling centers (ICTC) which stand ready, offering free tests and counseling to empower individuals on their journey to well-being.”

World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1st, is a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing battle against the virus and commemorates those who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses. Project Arogya, a health-oriented community development initiative from BALCO, has been working diligently towards generating awareness on HIV among high-risk behavior groups such as truckers and migrant workers. In FY2024 till December, over 2,000 individuals were sensitized through health camps, one-to-one counseling sessions, and group awareness sessions. The Counseling Centre in Rural Health Post, Parsabhata, supported by BALCO, serves as a crucial center for HIV awareness, counseling, and linkage for HIV testing.

BALCO remains steadfast in serving the community through impactful healthcare interventions under Project Arogya, in partnership with Social Revival Group of Urban, Rural and Tribal (SROUT). The company ensures the accessibility of quality primary healthcare services for communities through Rural Health Posts, coupled with awareness campaigns on critical topics such as HIV, maternal and child health, and malnutrition. Additionally, BALCO operates a mobile health van, addressing healthcare challenges through doorstep visits in remote villages every fortnight. The company frequently organizes mega health camps and awareness campaigns, promoting vaccinations and hygiene practices, while ensuring accessible healthcare through home visits and specialized consultations. Through its curative and preventive services, BALCO’s efforts have reached over 45,000 people in the fiscal year 2023.

Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) is India’s iconic aluminium producer. It is owned 51% by Vedanta Limited and 49% by the Government of India. BALCO is part of Vedanta’s Aluminium Business, a division of Vedanta Limited, which is India’s largest manufacturer of aluminium. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 1st in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2023 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. 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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