Vedanta Aluminium’s Subhalaxmi Cooperative launches broom-making training for women entrepreneurs

Bhubaneswar,3rd August 2023:Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium,has partnered with the renowned Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) to introduce a broom-making initiative as a part of the several entrepreneurship development opportunities offered under Project Subhalaxmi Udyogini, the second phase of Subhalaxmi Cooperative,one of India’s largest rural women’s co-operatives supported by Vedanta Aluminium.

The enterprise was inauguratedat Chelliapada village in the Kirmira Block of Jharsuguda, in the presence of Mrs. Krishnapriya Sahu, Block Chairman of Kirmira Block and the board members of the Subhalaxmi Cooperative. It was also inaugurated at Taraikela village inKolabira Gram Panchayat, in the presence of Mr. ChetaniyaNaie, Gram Sarpanch. The broom-making enterprise willinvolve over 100 women from 15 villages in Kirmira and Kolabira blocks in the collection of naturally-grownbroom grass, and subsequently in producingeco-friendly brooms.The enterprise plans to manufacture nearly 12,000 brooms per month over the next six months, after which production will be scaled up further. Thebrooms will be deposited at a broom collection centremanaged by members of the Subhalaxmi Cooperative, through which the brooms will be furtherdistributed to wholesalers for sale.

By establishing an efficient broom production and marketing enterprise, the program seeks to enhance productivity, streamline distribution channels, and create a sustainable market for eco-friendly brooms.Through the program, the company also aims to empower the community with sustainable livelihood opportunities by fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship among women, in turn working towards the overall economic development of the region.

Encouraging the entrepreneurial spirits of the cooperative members, Mr. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business said “The Subhalaxmi Co-operative stands as a remarkable testament to the positive outcomes of corporate and community collaboration, fostering genuine social and economic empowerment for rural women. We at Vedanta Aluminium are committed to supporting their remarkable achievements.With the recent launch of the broom-making initiative under Project Subhalaxmi Udyogini, we are further reinforcing our commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs in the region.”

Appreciating the company for undertaking the initiative, Ms. Krishnapriya Sahu, Block Chairman, Kirmira Block, Jharsuguda,said “Efforts such as the broom-making enterprise by Vedanta Aluminium hold immense significance in empowering rural women, offering them the means to flourish as entrepreneurs and catalysing overall economic growth in the region. I wholeheartedly encourage all members of the cooperative to actively engage with this initiative and leverage the economic benefits it presents, not only to support their families but also to inspire a brighter future for the entire community.

The highlights of Subhalaxmi Cooperative’s journey so far include:

–       Western Odisha’s largest &one of India’s largest rural women’s co-operatives, that is a self-governed community supporting 372 Self-Help Groups with more than 4350 members.

–       Empowering more than 1,800 women entrepreneurs on farm & non-farm trades within the last 2 years alone, supportingthem with micro-finance, skill development, financial literacy, market linkages

–       Created a fund base of about INR 4 crores and conducted business of INR 38.13 crores since inception, supporting the cooperative members with around 19,200 loans

–       Acting as a bridge between community members and various welfare schemes developed by the Indian government for their socio-economic empowerment.

–       Scaling micro-enterprises like fast food centres, poultry & vegetable farms, grocery stores, beauty parlours, tailoring centres and many more.

–       ‘Subhalaxmi Mahila Kalyan Panthi’ – a unique social welfare fund providing financial support to expecting mothers, scholarships to meritorious students, support in case of demise of spouse, etc, to more than 1400 beneficiaries.

–       Governed by 15 elected Board of Directors, developing a cadre of women leaders through co-operative affairs and management workshops.

Vedanta Jharsuguda’s social interventions in the domains of sustainable livelihood, quality education, women empowerment, health, water and sanitation, bio-investment and community infrastructure reach out to 80 villages in Jharsuguda and nearby areas, benefiting over 3 lakh people in a year. It empowers more than 4350 women from over 370 SHGs, provides doorstep healthcare services to about 43,000 people annually, gives educational support to more than 13,000 students.

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