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10th October 2022

BALCO trains 300+ women towards increasing their household income during festivities

Balconagar, 10th October, 2022: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, has rolled out a series of initiatives for helping women members of local Self Help Groups (SHG) learn new skills and leverage the festive season for increasing household income. Under ‘Unnati’, BALCO’s flagship community development project in the domain of sustainable livelihoods, the company has now undertaken several capacity building programs for SHG members to train them in creating different products that are an integral part of festivities. Through these workshops, BALCO is helping the participants create new revenue streams for themselves and training them in more skills for income generation.

The company commenced the training workshops since Raksha Bandhan. In the days leading up to the festival celebrations, the SHG members created and sold numerous handmade rakhis. This was followed by the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, during which they created ecofriendly idols of the deity with soil sourced sustainably from the river Narmada and water drawn from the river Ganga. The women sold a majority of the Ganesha idols they produced, a testimony to their quick mastery of the skills and quality of the products. Through this effort, they also popularized greener alternatives to commonly used non-sustainable items during celebrations.

With Diwali approaching, BALCO has offered a wide range of training sessions in keeping with the women’s interests as well as the market demands of the festival. From arts & crafts to handmade chocolates, the SHG members are getting trained for producing items that witness high demand as Diwali gifts. Apart from this, BALCO has launched ‘Chhattisa’ initiative to train participants in traditional Chhattisgarhi cuisine. These workshops have received enthusiastic response with over 311 SHG members trained so far.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Abhijit Pati, CEO & Director, BALCO, said, “We are committed to empowering our communities to be self-sufficient and become architects of their progress. BALCO is, therefore, proud to be a facilitator in the skill development and financial empowerment of women from our local communities, through Project Unnati. This will also accelerate their inclusion in the socio-economic mainstream and give them avenues to contribute to the growth and progress of their families, society, and the nation at large.”

Speaking about the positive impact of Project Unnati, Rex Mehta, CEO, GPR Strategies & Solutions Limited, BALCO’s NGO partner for implementing the project, said, “Project Unnati, created as part of BALCO’s community outreach efforts, is a successful example of implementing relevant outreach projects that address tackle socio-economic challenges at their roots. The project is based on four pillars of financial inclusion, economic independence, social empowerment and group empowerment of women in the community.”

Sharing her experience, Dhaneshwari Goswami, who participated in this training program, said, “The chocolate making workshop experience was a fantastic experience. We never thought that the chocolates which we buy from the market can also be made at home. The training has helped us learn a new skill and use it to earn more by selling handmade chocolates as gifting items.”

Project Unnati focuses on empowering and mobilizing women into SHGs and honing their capacities and skills for entrepreneurship and building sustainable livelihoods. During the present year, 90 new SHGs were formed, taking the total number to 458 SHGs with 5,066 women who greatly benefit under the various training modules of the project.

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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