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5th July 2023

On World Chocolate Day, BALCO expands product range offered by Project Unnati

  • The women empowerment program trains and prepares women for entrepreneurial activities.

Balconagar; 05th July 2023: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, the largest producer of aluminium in the country, celebrated World Chocolate Day through a new product launch from Project Unnati, its self-help group (SHG) program. It has now added a brand-new ‘Exotic’ collection to its range of home-made chocolates with the addition of delicious Blueberry and Cranberry Chocolates and sold under Project Unnati’s UnChoc brand.

These chocolates are made by rural women under the company’s Chhattisa initiative, a part of Project Unnati, which focuses on empowering and mobilizing women into self-help groups (SHGs), honing their capacities and skills for entrepreneurship and building sustainable livelihoods. It now trains over 50 women in chocolate-making through training and workshops, giving them the opportunity to pursue chocolate-making as an entrepreneurial avenue.

Aimed at training participants in traditional Chhattisgarhi cuisine, the Chhattisa initiative provides women with additional ways to establish thriving businesses and generate income to sustain themselves independently. Its UnChoc brand encompasses a variety of chocolates ranging from classic varieties like Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, and White chocolate, as well as nutty variations featuring Almonds, Cashews, and Raisins. In line with Chhatisa’s mission of blending traditional Chhattisgarh cuisines with modern flavours, the self-help group female members have also introduced chocolates infused with Cardamom and Calumpang nuts (Chironjee), expanding the several options available.

Understanding the rising levels of health consciousness and a growing preference for nutritious ingredients combined with delicious treats, the self-help group members have also included protein-rich ingredients such as grams and peanuts in their heavenly treats under the ‘Desi Nutty’ category, enabling consumers to enjoy taste with wholesomeness. Chhattisa offers an extensive range of 7 homemade chocolate varieties that can be purchased by consumers on a pre-order basis.

Appreciating the efforts of self-help groups under Project Unnati, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO, and Director, BALCO said, “We are committed to fostering a transformative environment where women can thrive, adapt, and lead in an ever-evolving world. The introduction of homemade chocolates under Chhattisa not only meets the budding consumer preferences but also empowers women in our community to adapt to prevailing tastes and requirements. At BALCO, our unwavering dedication to social responsibility drives us to create meaningful opportunities for women through self-help groups, enabling them to build sustainable livelihoods. Project Unnati is a testament to our focused efforts towards empowering women and igniting their entrepreneurial spirit, shaping a brighter future for their entire communities.”

Sharing her experience, Dhaneshwari Goswami, a participant who benefitted from Chhatisa’s chocolate-making workshops, expressed, “I had never imagined that I would make homemade chocolates similar to those we buy from the market. Thanks to BALCO’s chocolate-making workshops that equipped me and other participants with a valuable skill, enabling us to generate additional income by selling handmade chocolates as delightful gifts. Today, I am not only involved in chocolate production and sales, but I am also privileged to mentor other women aspiring to pursue chocolate making as a livelihood.”

Project Unnati focuses on empowering and mobilizing women into SHGs and honing their capacities and skills for entrepreneurship and building sustainable livelihoods. Within this fiscal itself, over 40 new SHGs have been formed, taking the total number to 500+ SHGs with more than 5,300 women who greatly benefit from the various training modules of the project. The project is currently being implemented in collaboration with GPR Strategies & Solutions, a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to community and social services.

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 and. 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 fulfils 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.

For more information please log on to https://www.vedantalimited.com