@ Vikas Sharma | Sr Journalist
Korba: Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO), a global leader in aluminium, won the prestigious CSR India Award 2020 by Greentech Foundation for ‘Unnati’, its flagship project in women empowerment, during a virtual ceremony on 1st Oct’20. The award is presented to organizations for demonstrating highest level of commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and stands testimony to BALCO’s endeavors towards the socio-economic development of marginalized communities, particularly women in rural Chhattisgarh.
BALCO has paved the way for financial empowerment and self-reliance of women in Korba, Chhattisgarh. Under the project, the company has rolled out various community development initiatives, training and skill development programs and formed Self-Help Groups (SHG), aimed at financially empowering women and enabling them to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures in farming, arts & crafts, retail, beauty & grooming, tailoring and many more.
Mr. Abhijit Pati, CEO & Director, BALCO, expressed happiness over receiving the accolade and said, “BALCO, through its community development programs, advocates for creating a supportive and encouraging environment for underprivileged women, enabling them to strive for sustainable growth. Self-reliant and financially empowered women are the reason for sustainable progress of any country. BALCO’s women empowerment projects have created new avenues for women to pursue enterprises of their own, supported through training programs and financial literacy initiatives. Today, under our CSR initiatives, as many as 3000 women have become financially empowered. It is a matter of great pride for us that women of Korba are becoming financially stronger and able to contribute to the socio-economic betterment of their family and society.”
Through its project Unnati, BALCO aims to empower women to make use of the choices, opportunities and spaces available to them in the economic and social spheres. The company is realizing this objective by assisting rural women in creating an effective framework of self-help groups (SHG) and federations that will enable them to access micro-finance services, engage in remunerative and sustainable livelihood activities, and empower them economically and socially. The project mobilizes these women SHGs and handholds them through various stages of organizational development and capacity building for co-designing and co-developing local enterprises so that the women can create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
Expressing gratitude to BALCO for empowering and enabling communities, Mrs. Jaya Rathia, sarpanch of Bela village, said, “BALCO has undertaken many developmental works in the area since its inception. The company has created many livelihood activities for women through project Unnati. Women of the region are now being supported in their endeavors to explore various entrepreneurial avenues as well as learn new skills or upgrade their capabilities.”
BALCO has been a frontrunner in transforming the socio-economic landscape of Korba. The company has undertaken several social development projects under sustainable livelihood, women empowerment, healthcare, education, agriculture benefiting over 1,50,000 people in Korba region. In the changing paradigm of social fabric due to the pandemic, BALCO is also helping communities sustain livelihoods, working in close coordination with district and local administration.