Vedanta aims to make women self-reliant by implementing skill development

VedantaVedanta Limited, India’s only diversified natural resources company, celebrated International Women’s Day in all business operations, while continuing to benefit over 32,600 women through CSR initiatives focused on woman empowerment.

“Vedanta Limited aims to make women self-reliant by implementing skill development, education, health and sanitation and various income generation activities. Women are imperative to build social capital of the nation and India’s development is synonymous with their development,” said Roma Balwani, president, Group Sustainability and CSR, Vedanta.

“Across our businesses at Vedanta, our gender parity drive endeavours to ensure that broader skillsets and ideas are available within the organization. We have arguably, the highest number of women in senior management as benchmarked against our peers. Empowering women is integral to our corporate philosophy, culture and environment,” Balwani added.

Vedanta is a signatory of the ‘CEO Statement of Support’ for the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) – ‘Equality Means Business’. WEP are produced and disseminated by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact.

Vedanta practices and promotes equal employment opportunities. The company’s Board has 13 percent representation of women and has set a target to reach over 20 percent by 2018.

At the company’s Jharsuguda facility in Odisha, Vedanta organised a marathon for women, titled, ‘Vedanta Meadows Women Marathon 2016’, aimed at highlighting woman empowerment.

On March 11, 2016, female employees from the unit will interact with the company’s CEO for a leadership programme titled ‘2nd Dimension’. At Lanjigarh in Odisha, the company launched a federation under ‘Sakhi’, a marquee female-centric CSR programme. Outperformers from women Self Help Groups (SHGs) were felicitated for their contribution while awareness about women’s health was promoted through two special stalls.

At the company’s iron ore operations in Goa, the week-long celebration promoted gender equality. A ‘Pledge for Parity’ has been signed by the employees. Deputy Superintendent, SDPO, Vasco, Goa, Sucheta Desai shared her experiences as a woman in the public services and how crucial it is for the economy to grow through a better gender parity.

In Karnataka, celebrations which began from 4th March, inaugurated by Suma Nagaraj, President – Gram Panchayat, Sirigere, included participation from 150 women of 10 villages.

At BALCO, a cultural and sports was organised especially for over 100 women from SHG groups and adolescent girls. Women and adolescent girls who have successfully completed the 60 days sewing training organised in partnership with the Women and Child Development Ministry were commemorated with certificates.

At Tuticorin, Sterlite Copper organised cultural programmes and sports competitions for over 2400 women SHG members. The performance of local NGOs and SHG members was commemorated on International Women’s Day.

Cairn India’s Internal Women’s Week from 7th to 11th March 2016 has programmes implemented in association with Care India, the partner for RACHNA (Reproductive And Child Health & Nutrition Awareness) Project.

The company is setting up a Breast Feeding Room, ‘Amrit Kaksh’ at CHC (Community Health Centre), Gudamalani, with pictorials and signage on importance of mother’s milk for children. Trainings and awareness generation programs for (Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery) ANMs and Anganwaadi Workers across Barmer district and sessions on Mestrual Health and Hygiene for adolescent girls are the programmes which will be conducted in the week.

Vedanta has signed a MoU with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to construct 4000 Nandghars across India. The modern Angawadi has a state of the art infrastructure with digital learning facilities for children and young women. Skill development initiatives such as stitching, creating marketing linkages, creating micro enterprises and Self Help Groups (SHGs) will empower women with providing means of economic independence.

Vedanta has also empowered over 32,600 rural women through the creation of about 1,500 Self Help Groups in the communities, across the locations of its operations.

Cairn India, a Vedanta company conducts projects are aimed at enhancing the social status of rural women, in alignment with Government’s ‘Skill India’ Initiative. Such programmes have resulted in emerging business units that are based on a self-employment business model.

The Cairn India Enterprise Centre (CEC) provides skill training, career counselling, and linkage to employment opportunities to over 12,000 youth including women. Cairn India has broken the barrier of gender roles by undertaking unique initiative like involving women masonry to build toilets as part of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. The involvement of women in its dairy development programme plays vital role in generating additional income.

Hindustan Zinc is engaged towards the empowerment of rural women through formation of 584 ‘Sakhi’ Self-Help Groups (SHGs) since 2006 in Rajasthan, reaching over 7,000 rural and tribal women. Each group has about 12-15 rural women trained as rural women entrepreneurs, who now manage their own micro-enterprises.

BALCO encouraged 1440 women to form 120 Self Help Groups (SHG) in the surrounding villages. Local NGOs such as the ‘Social Revival Group Of Urban Rural & Tribal’ (SROUT) teamed up with BALCO to organize training workshops for the members of SHGs.

In Odisha, at Lanjigarh, where the company operates a smelter and power plant, 27 SHGs, with a total strength of over 291 women are entrepreneurs, generating their own source of income, benefitting their households and the broader society. At its Jharsuguda operations too, 224 self help groups benefit 2,695 women, generating a stable source of livelihood, thus empowering them.