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Essar Foundation’s Salaai Stitching Centre financially empowers Salaya women

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January 28, 2016 Bookmark and Share  
  • Salaai branded bags in great demand
  • Over 500 local women trained in operating specialised sewing machines

Mumbai & Devbhumi Dwarka, 28th January 2016: Essar Foundation has brought about a positive difference in the lives of the women of Salaya in Gujarat’s Devbhumi Dwarka district. Over the last three years, the Foundation’s Stitching Centre at Salaya has emerged as a steady source of income for local women. The bags produced by the Centre are currently being marketed under the “Salaai” brand name.

Essar Foundation’s Salaai Stitching Centre financially empowers Salaya women

The centre trains local women in sustainable skills, like operating the specialised machines that help in sewing the rexine and leather used as material for the bags. This training is provided through a three-month module and is endorsed by a certificate of completion. Until date, over 500 women in Salaya have successfully completed the training. The Salaai Stitching Centre was initiated in 2012 with support from the Vagher Muslim Jamat and Ms Rashidaben Suelmanbhai Bhaya, a socially active lady from the community. The Foundation has organised two exhibitions for promoting and selling the products at the Essar Oil township in Jamnagar. In addition, the centre’s products have also been showcased at the national-level NABARD exhibition in Ahmedabad.

Says Mr Deepak Arora, CEO of Essar Foundation: “Skill development and women’s empowerment are core objectives in our efforts to engage with the communities near the manufacturing locations of various Essar businesses. It is gratifying to see the bags selling in large quantities and meeting a nascent demand for such products. While the menfolk in the community are in the fishing profession, the women of Salaya have used their newfound skills to supplement their household income and gain financial independence.”

The Devbhumi Dwarka district is home to several Essar businesses including the 20 million tonne Essar Oil refinery, multiple Essar Power plants, as well as ports that manage dry bulk and liquid cargoes. Apart from Salaai, the Essar Foundation is working on various community initiatives to bring about sustainable development. Says Ms Rashidaben Khira, the Salaai Stitching Centre manager, and Ms Ayeshaben, a trainer at the centre: “The Foundation has brought about a marked improvement in the economic condition of local women. The Salaai-branded schoolbags and purses are in great demand. We are now receiving bulk orders both from Gujarat and other states.”

This initiative is part of Essar Foundation’s comprehensive strategy of empowering local women in various states. The Foundation operates 10 Lok Vikas Kendras in Gujarat, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Maharashtra through a slew of projects. The projects are aimed at skill development and enterprise for women across activities like handicraft and apparel production, food processing, setting and operating sanitary napkin manufacturing units, and organising exhibitions and events promoting sales & marketing opportunities to trained women.

About Essar Foundation:
Essar Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Essar, which is committed to maintaining the highest standards of CSR in its business activities and aims to make a difference to the communities around its manufacturing locations. Essar Foundation collaborates with key stakeholders, especially the local administration and institutions, to facilitate development with initiatives in education, livelihoods, women’s empowerment and health. The interventions are in line with the provisions under the Companies’ Act 2013. It impacts more than a million lives positively across 500 villages in eight states of India.

Media contact: Nilovna Ghosh, Sr. Manager - Essar Foundation, Email: Nilovna.ghosh@essar.com


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