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9th September 2023

Vedanta’s ‘Project Panchhi’ empowers girls from socio-economically disadvantaged communities across Chhattisgarh

Balconagar; 09th September 2023: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, has launched Vedanta’s ‘Project Panchhi’, a nationwide initiative aimed at transforming the lives of 1000 young girls from marginalized communities, within the vicinity of its operations in Korba, Chhattisgarh. Conceptualized under the vision and guidance of Vedanta’s Chairman Mr. Anil Agarwal, the pioneering recruitment drive offers renewed opportunities for progress to these girls, who face considerable financial and social constraints that prevent them from completing their education and pursuing sustainable livelihoods.

In the inaugural phase of the project’s launch at BALCO, 86 girls have been identified for recruitment under Project Panchhi. These young women, many of whom are first-generation learners and have overcome significant odds to reach the final stages of their schooling, received their offer letters in a felicitation ceremony led by Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO and Director, BALCO and Mr. Dilip Sinha, Sector CHRO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business.

Project Panchhi is also underway at the company’s other locations, including Lanjigarh, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh in Odisha. To ensure the selection of the most suitable candidates, Vedanta has implemented a rigorous selection process at each of these locations. Once selected, these promising individuals will be sponsored for their higher education in renowned national institutions and, upon successful completion of their degrees, will formally join the Vedanta Group as graduate trainees in core operations.

Underscoring the importance of the project, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO and Director, Vedanta- BALCO, said, “Project Panchhi embodies Vedanta’s unwavering commitment to empowering women, ensuring that every girl, regardless of her background, can soar to greater heights. An outcome of our Chairman’s vision to create an equitable world, it represents a transformative endeavor aimed at creating a pathway for these girls to not only complete their education but also embark on a journey towards a promising career. With this project, we are sowing the seeds for a brighter, more equitable future, where these empowered women will play pivotal roles in transforming their lives and the society around them.”

Expressing his views, Mr. Dilip Sinha, CHRO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business, said, “Project Panchhi exemplifies Vedanta’s unwavering commitment to talent cultivation, diversity, and equality. By providing these girls with access to education and professional opportunities, we are not only changing their growth trajectories but also enriching the very fabric of our organizational culture. These young women will become the catalysts for positive change and innovation within Vedanta, propelling our collective success to unprecedented heights.”

Expressing his gratitude, Pramod Manikpuri, father of Sudha Manikpuri, one of the girls selected under the program, said, “As a parent, I always dreamed of providing my children with the best opportunities for education and growth, but financial constraints made it seem like an impossible dream. ‘Project Panchhi’ has stepped in as a ray of hope, helping my daughter

complete her graduation and reach new heights. This initiative has been a lifeline for families like ours, and I can’t express how grateful I am for the support it has provided.”

Nisha Patre, from Belgari Basti, Korba, Chhattisgarh, one of the girls selected under the program, expressing her delight, said, “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Chairman Anil Agarwal for envisioning and supporting initiatives like ‘Project Panchhi. The program has instilled a sense of purpose and determination within me. I now foresee a future where I can not only achieve my aspirations but also become a pivotal source of financial support for my loved ones, setting the stage for a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow. I am happy to be a part of this transformative journey of self-dependence that ‘Project Panchhi’ promises me.”

Project Panchhi represents Vedanta’s commitment to social empowerment and diversity, spanning its diverse businesses across India. The project reflects Vedanta’s goal of promoting diversity, inclusion and driving tangible change within rural communities. It will not only create opportunities for deserving young women in underserved, remote communities, but will also address gender imbalance within the metals and mining sector by actively creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for women.

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 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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