The Essar Foundation is driving social change in rural areas by empowering women through education and training.
Recognizing the pivotal role women play in the development and progress of society, the Essar Foundation has identified women’s empowerment as one of its six focus areas.
To ensure the holistic empowerment of women, social, economic and political aspects that influence women’s lives must be addressed. An analysis of the status of women in India reflects a disappointing scenario in almost all important human development indicators. The lack of adequate schools, health centers, drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities hinders a large section of women, inhibiting their social and economic development.
The Women’s program aims to enable women to manage their monetary, physical and intellectual needs. As a consequence, it aims to raise their self-esteem and encourage a sense of security. The Essar Foundation undertakes initiatives focused on health, education, nutrition and financial management for women living in the rural areas near the company’s operations. The activities also encourage beneficiaries to access government services designed for women and children.
Empowering women and encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit is another vital aspect of Essar’s CSR strategy. The Foundation actively seeks opportunities to enable women in rural areas to have a voice in issues that concern them.
- To develop skills through appropriate training
- Encourage capacity building to enhance income opportunities
- To improve reproductive heath through awareness-building
ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS
Skills Development And Enterprise Project
Rural India offers limited employment opportunities and extremely low earnings, particularly for rural women (who are typically uneducated). Recognizing the yet untapped potential of these women, Essar encourages rural women to earn alternate and additional income through self-help groups (SHGs). An SHG mela organized at Dabuna (Odisha), resulted in the formation of and lending guidance to more than 25 SHGs in the region. Similar activities have been undertaken in Chhattisgarh.
The Foundation also provides them the necessary skills training, which helps them not only establish SHGs but manage and build on them to increase their earning potential. The Foundation also links enterprising women with microfinance institutions, thus giving women entrepreneurs crucial financial support that might not be otherwise available to them.
Reproductive Health Project
It is estimated that every seven minutes, a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth complications in India. This converts into a significant maternal mortality rate of 301 deaths for every 100,000 live births (source: UNICEF).
Additionally, women living in rural areas often suffer from reproductive health problems due to a plethora of socio-cultural and biological reasons. Unequal access to resources, lack of awareness, illiteracy and low decision-making authority are just some of the contributing factors.
The Essar Foundation seeks to better this worrisome scenario by reaching out to women in the reproductive age group. The project creates awareness and provides women with the necessary assistance during and after pregnancy, enabling them to prevent pregnancy-related complications.
The project includes reproductive health camps, immunization camps, doctors’ training, referral transport to tertiary care units, obstetric care and training for auxiliary nurses and midwives. So far more than 5,000 women have benefited from camps for care for expecting mothers and other reproductive and child healthcare initiatives.
Livestock Management To Increase Incomes
More than 70 per cent of rural households depend on livestock farming for supplementary income and 90 per cent of that activity is undertaken by women.
The Foundation creates awareness about livestock welfare through cattle camps and vaccination programs to help improve the productivity of this activity. The activities aim to improve the quality and product yield such as milk and meat, making them more marketable. Women are also encouraged to form dairy cooperatives and poultry farms to increase their earning potential.
140 Self Help Groups (SHG) in Kasarwadi, Bopkhel and Morwadi, two federations. more than 2800 members. one credit cooperative society. transactions worth lakhs of rupees. considerable number of women starting their own business. and that is not enough! The women want to touch the sky!
Apart from meeting their financial needs, a very important impact of this initiative is that there are almost no child marriages, which were prevalent earlier. The number of girls studying for graduation and post graduation courses has increased. Women who were home bound have now started coming together out of their homes for meetings, going to banks and even approaching Government officials for their civil rights. Their negotiation skills have developed. Awareness in terms of health, hygiene and legal rights has increased and the quality of life has been positively impacted. Through this platform, many wareness and skill building programmes for women are conducted. Some women are now looking beyond their needs and have started helping people in their community.
CSR Rural Women Empowerment
It is important to focus on the Girl Child and women’s livelihood as that is the most relevant need in the villages.
With the thrust of Empowerment of women by equipping them with skills and providing livelihood for a secure future.
We have therefore started the following programs:-
- Stitching & Tailoring Centers
- Computer Classes Girls
- Beauty Course- Rajnota
Under the Life Skills Livelihood Programme:-
A Learning Center that enables rural Women empowerment. With these skills, the rural women are trained to start their own businesses.
Till now Oxigen has set up 29 educational institute in Villages like Rajnota, Buteri & Behror in Rajasthan, Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Trichy in Tamil Nadu, Pehowa in Kuruksehtra, Dhankaur & Raibareli in U.P, Melpuram & Killiyoor in Kanyakumari.
These Institutions are being replicated across India, where the women will be given professional skill based certified education so as to get them jobs or start business and help them become financially Independent.
2998 Girls have been trained and certified in these programs in various locations till now.
JINDAL STEEL AND POWER LTD.
It is said that women are the pillars of the economy of the world. In keeping with the spirit, CSR at JSPL believes that when it comes to corporate sustainability the presence of gender inclusive leadership helps create a new benchmark in community development.
It is important to empower women. Empowerment means becoming able to take responsibility. Women have the right to determine their own choices in life. Several women empowerment initiatives have been undertaken across the areas of our operation. These initiatives aim to improve literacy as well as provide training to enhance livelihood generation opportunities amongst women. We provide them with the primary help in order to start with the production facility. This would in turn help in supplementing family incomes through community based micro-enterprises.
Awareness programs on gender parity, sexual harassment, domestic violence, legal rights are being conducted to increase awareness on such issues. Also, different skill development training programs are regularly organised to upgrade their existing traditional skills and simultaneously promote new skills. All this in a bid to empower our women.
• Infrastructure Development
• Sports, Arts and Culture
The central vision of the Kishori Express is the health improvement of adolescent girls (would-be mothers) through regular medical check-up, hemoglobin check-up, awareness creation and nutrition supplementation. It attempts to enhance female adolescent health by targeting anaemia-control through timely detection and rectification. This programme has been implemented to meet MDG – 3, 4 and 5 which aims to reduce maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR) and the occurrence of anaemia among adolescent girls. The stakeholders of the programme are National Rural Health Mission, Integrated Child Development Programme and Zilla Swasthya Samiti.
Aparajita, a mason training programme, is transforming rural India through village-based masonry training for vulnerable women. It is entailing holistic development in technical and life skills, resulting in the formation of a women’s cooperative poised to take on masonry contracts needed to improve the quality of life of rural communities. The project aims to empower women and change mindsets about women being skilled masons for social and economic change.
The aim of the Swawlamban project is to improve the livelihood of rural women by proper utilisation of available resources, up-gradation of existing skills and marketing support to sell the products. The objective is to identify, motivate, plan and implement income generation activities to ensure sustainable livelihood opportunity of the members involved in income generation activities. Activities such as livestock rearing, rural art and craft, food processing, candle making, bread factory, vermi composting, soft toys manufacture, paper plate making etc. are supported. Marketing linkage is also facilitated.
Vatsalaya is a unique project which aims to create awareness on health related issues among the community women to ensure safe motherhood through strengthening of the existing health services. The programme covers holistic health and sanitation issues and simultaneously mobilises community on their rights. It aims to reduce MMR and IMR including malnutrition through different ANC, PNC related awareness and services. Population stabilisation is also in its agenda. As a result, institutional delivery have significantly increased in the areas of the Comapny’s operation, acceptance of contraceptive use has also increased. To ensure first-aid services in villages ‘Vatsalaya Kendra’ have been established, which are working as health resource centre for the village.
Odifab is a platform that showcases the diversified jute products manufactured by the rural women of the villages. The initiative is a way of pursuing profit alongside a social goal. Jute is a natural fibre- the golden fibre that is 100 % bio-degradable and abundantly available. It is also one of the cheapest and the strongest of all natural fibres. Apart from being a major textile element, it has also come to be the basic raw material for several non-traditional and value added products. Set-up almost two years ago, Odifab is now already a registered trademark and is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after livelihood options amongst young women residing in the nearby villages. A 10-member self-help group is engaged in the manufacture of various kinds of jute accessories. This initiative is also a part of the company’s zero-polythene drive targeted at generating environmental consciousness amongst the community within as well as outside. The self-help group has been receiving a steady flow of orders for office and home accessories.
Agarbatti rolling activity in the rural areas has proved to be a micro-enterprise and a household activity. The rolling of agarbatti is done either manually, i.e. hand rolling or through pedal operated rolling machines. Further, the trade tie-up between ORMAS and ITC for organised marketing of Agarbatti since 2009 has strengthened this initiative. This project was launched under PPP mode with the support infrastructure support from JSPL, capacity building support from ORMAS and marketing support from ITC. Through this initiative, the employment opportunity for unskilled and semi-skilled rural women has increased and it has created a comfortable working condition which further enhanced their productivity.
Eco-Spa is an innovative initiative in the direction of sustainable livelihood and micro-enterprise promotion where women from local villages bring together locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs to produce high-quality herbal body care products for the urban and affluent market. The Eco-Spa rural women SHG initiative promotes wide spread socio-economic development, takes care of environment, emphasises responsible consumption, nurtures nature, promotes organic agriculture thus strengthening the traditional knowledge systems. Backyard herbal gardens are developed where women grow the aloe-vera, hibiscus, rose and basil to supply the raw materials. The group has a functional bank account in their name. The company provides market linkages with the urban market such as high-end designer stores, boutique hotels and brands dealing with organic products. All products at Eco-Spa are hand-crafted and involve minimal use of machines.
The need for low-cost good quality hygienic napkins propelled the setting up of Sshodashi, the sanitary napkin manufacture-cum-training unit. With technical inputs from the inventor and patent-owner who was awarded the National Award, this low cost sanitary napkins training cum production center was launched. The low cost sanitary napkin manufactured under the name of ‘Sshodashi’ brings in a sea-change in a young girls’ life and carries a long-lasting impact. The access to better menstrual hygiene brings along a sense of independence and convenience that has a direct correlation with young girls being able to complete school education and move on to colleges for higher studies. As a cascading effect, women attain motherhood at an age that is medically safe and healthy for her and the child to be born.
Though the peripheral villages have good vegetable growers, the possibilities of exploring food processing through the manufacture of pickles hadn’t taken a cogent form. The company noticed that several women self-help groups were keen on taking up food processing as an alternative means of livelihood and this gave birth to Chaiti. This food preservation unit has been functional over a year now. The fruits and vegetables used as ingredients in pickles, sauces, squashes and other canned products are grown by the village folk in their backyards and freshly picked before being processed. The women self-help groups engaged at Chaiti have received positive response while displaying and marketing their products at the state and district level exhibitions, haat and fairs. Chaiti is now a registered brand.
Based on the interest of villagers, the company decided to go for stitching-as one of the component for livelihood. This gave rise to setting up of Srujan- stitching & tailoring unit. The objective of this centre is to bring in positive outlook and promote income generation among the rural women of peripheral villages so that they can lead economically and socially productive life. The company identified the potential self-help groups and provided 6 months training to the participants. The initial financial assistance and hand-holding support was provided by JSPL in collaboration with Jan Shikshan Sansthan.
Akriti is a centre to produce hand made products by the women of adopted villages. The centre is established to involve multi-skilled women in meaningful activity from where a range of products could be produced and marketed. The centre also acts as a handmade products experimentation unit where with the technical support from the consultants, new products would be designed, manufactured and sold.
Are you an enterprising woman looking forward for Business Opportunities, Skill Training, Finance to gear up your Business & Marketing Support for products you have manufactured/ deal with?
Canara Bank is here to assist you!
‘Empowerment of Women’ Canara Bank’s way…..
‘Empowerment of Women’ a key component of socio-economic growth and stability of a developing country like India has always been the priority objective of Canara Bank since its inception. The Bank’s journey for over a century has been with care and concern for the society where we live in, especially the women folk.
Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for Women ( CED for Women ) was established at the Bank’s Corporate Office, Bangalore during 1988 with an objective of assisting potential women entrepreneurs to select income generating activities and start ventures of their own. Now 47 such Centers are functioning at all Circle Offices of the Bank across the country monitored by the Department of Women Empowerment at the Corporate Head Office, Bangalore which formulates policy guidelines related to women issues& credit flow to women beneficiaries in addition to creating awareness among the women through various forums.
Create a comprehensive, sustainable mechanism for women helping them to become self-employed / self-reliant & contribute to GDP of the Nation.
Co-ordinate with Government& Voluntary Non – Government Organisations engaged in promoting Entrepreneurship amongst Women in order to strengthen delivery mechanism of services extended and reach the unreached.
Popularize the concept of Self Help Groups’ among women
Exclusive Service Outlets for Women
2 exclusive Mahila Banking Branches one at Bangalore other at Chennai caters to the Banking needs of Women. In order to give focused attention to the needs of women clientele, the Bank has also converted 14 branches into “All Women Employee Branches” pan India. 19 Micro finance branches across the country finance Micro Enterprises
Lending to Women
As against RBIâ€™s requirement of 5% of Adjusted Net Credit to women beneficiaries, the Bank achieved 13.07% as at March 2015. Over 23.86 lakh women were assisted, with credit outstanding to the tune of 37783 crore as at March 2015.
Concession to Women in the Credit Portfolio
Relaxation in eligibility norms & 0.50 % Interest Concession on Educational loans to girl students, 0.50 % interest concession for loans & advances to women beneficiaries under Micro & Small Enterprises up to Rs.2 Crores. A new Loan Scheme “MSE Vijeta” for granting Loans up to Rs. 200 Lakhs to women Entrepreneurs under Micro & Small Enterprises&Canara Mahila Saving Scheme, a special Savings Bank Product with many concessions & facilities have been launched by the Bank for the benefit of women clients.
Education to Girl children
As a humble homage to Bharat RatnaDr B R Ambedkar and to encourage girl child education, a scheme of extending Merit Scholarship to meritorious SC/ST girl students studying in Govt/ aided Schools named as â€œCanara VidyaJyothi Schemeâ€ has been launched and implemented through all rural branches.
Under the CSR initiative, Bank has taken up project for construction of toilets in 130 girl schools, 5 each in all its 26 lead districts and the construction work is in progress at the different locations.
Women Empowerment / Enfranchisement
The transformation of the country into a world power house is intricately linked to the empowerment of our womenfolk. Recognising this fact, NTPC has a bouquet of courses and projects specially designed for the ladies of the community such as Tailoring, Stitching, Dress Designing, Beautician, and Embroidery. Our focus is aimed at assisting women knowing that when the backbone of the family is strong and economically independent, the rest of the family will flourish. NTPC is on its way to revolutionising India.
Key Initiatives in women Empowerment:
• Adult education programmes for underprivileged women
• Distribution of Bicycles for Girls through West Bengal Government.
• Vocational Training programmes like Cutting / Tailoring / Stitching / Dress Designing (including providing sewing machines), Embroidery, Beautician, Handicrafts. Food Preservation/ Processing, Computer Education for women population in the neighbour hood villages