BALCO Celebrates Unnati Utsav with the Community

1st April 2024

  • Served as an opportunity for self-help groups to showcase their entrepreneurial skills
  • Felicitated inspiring individuals for their social contributions
  • Launched a new Mobile Health Van (MHV) for ensuring overall health and well-being of the community

Balconagar, April 01, 2024: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminum producer and a unit of Vedanta Aluminium, successfully completed the 3rd edition of ‘Unnati Utsav’ under BALCO’s Project Unnati, an event to showcase the entrepreneurial skills of the women from local communities. Commemorating International Women’s Day 2024, the exhibition highlighted products crafted by women capacitated with entrepreneurial skills and organized into self-help groups under Project Unnati, and featured a range of decor items, confectioneries, food items, and health and hygiene products. The event saw participation from over 650 women from the nearby communities who are charting their own path towards financial independence.

Conducted for the third consecutive year, BALCO engaged women from communities in various games and cultural performances. During the event, these women showcased Karma and Raut, local dance forms from Chhattisgarh, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the region. To raise awareness around social issues, they also participated in plays and performances addressing crucial topics such as women’s empowerment, menstrual health management, entrepreneurship, and girls’ education.

Featuring impactful plays, cultural performances, an award ceremony and a captivating exhibition with stalls from self-help groups, Unnati Utsav witnessed enthusiastic participation from over 1,000 individuals. The event also served as a platform providing promotional and earning opportunities for women from Self-Help Groups (SHGs), who had set up stalls with their handcrafted food and decor items in the exhibition open to general visitors.

Unnati Utsav is a flagship program under BALCO’s Project Unnati, aiming to empower and mobilize women into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) while honing their capacities and skills for entrepreneurship, and building sustainable livelihoods. BALCO has established 7 micro-enterprise units under Project Unnati offering 12 products, including Gonkra folk art (Chhattisgarh’s local art form), Chattisa (local cuisine), clay idols, mural art, mushroom cultivation, paper bags, among others. This project, running in partnership with GPR Strategies and Solutions (GPRSS), a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to community and social services, has impacted over 5,700 women in BALCO’s surrounding communities.

Appreciating the event and Project Unnati, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Director, BALCO, said, “BALCO is committed to supporting women from local communities on their journey of self-reliance by providing them with skills training, financial literacy, and market linkage. Through Project Unnati, we aim to promote the financial empowerment of women, enabling them to establish their individualistic identity within the society and contribute to the growth and progress of their families, society, and the nation.”

In addition to the performances, BALCO had also recognized 16 individuals from the communities for their remarkable contributions to social causes, under BALCO’s social initiatives on health, education, skills, and sustainable livelihoods. From dispelling myths surrounding menstruation to equipping individuals with the skills necessary for sustainable livelihoods, and providing primary academic support free of charge, these individuals were felicitated for their inspiring action and driving positive change in their communities.

The company also launched an additional van under its Mobile Health Van (MHV) initiative during the event, furthering its commitment to the health and well-being of the communities. Introduced to serve over 47 communities through fortnightly visits, camps, and consultation services, this initiative was a key highlight of the event.

Mr. S. N. Kesari, Chief Health and Medical Officer (CHMO), Korba district, applauded the launch of the MHV, and said, “Every individual has the right to primary healthcare. I am pleased that BALCO’s newly launched Mobile Health Van will support the district administration in meeting the needs of essential primary healthcare services for communities in remote areas of the district.”

BALCO, through its community welfare interventions, impacts over 1.5 lakh lives annually across 123 villages, spanning 4 blocks in 4 districts of Chhattisgarh, namely Korba, Kawardha, Surguja, and Raipur. Through its efforts, it aims at transforming all aspects of life with its diverse projects spanning areas such as health, education, sustainable livelihoods, rural infrastructure development, and grassroots sports and culture, with a special focus on women and child development.

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. BALCO is part of Vedanta’s Aluminium Business, a division of Vedanta Limited, which is India’s largest manufacturer of aluminium. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 1st in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2023 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a reflection of its leading sustainable development practices. 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 and Namibia. 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. Vedanta has put in place a comprehensive framework to be the ESG leader in the natural resources sector. Vedanta is committed to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050 or sooner and has pledged $5 billion over the next 10 years to accelerate the transition to net zero operations. Giving back is in the DNA of Vedanta, which is focused on enhancing the lives of local communities. The company’s 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. Under the aegis of the Anil Agarwal Foundation, the umbrella entity for Vedanta’s social initiatives, the Vedanta group has pledged Rs 5000 crore over the next five years on social impact programmes with a thrust on nutrition, women & child development, healthcare, animal welfare, and grass-root level sports. Vedanta and the group companies have been featured in Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and was conferred Frost & Sullivan Sustainability Awards 2020, Golden Peacock Award for excellence in Corporate Governance 2022 and certified as a Great Place to Work 2022. Vedanta Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.

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About Vedanta Aluminium Business:

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.37 million tonnes in FY24. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 1st in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2023 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a reflection of its leading sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

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