Essar Steel and Essar Foundation have been working together to empower women in the Keonjhar region, supporting 28 SHGs — with 349 members — across four villages. Based on the Essar Foundation approach of empowering communities, the allies not only impart training to improve skills with potential for income-generation, they also provide infrastructure support, where possible. The newly-opened tailoring center has 15 sewing machines and a regular trainer has been appointed to guide the SHG members.
The Essar Steel CSR (corporate social responsibility) team has, in fact, designed a standard operating procedure (SOP) specifically for supporting women’s groups in income-generation initiatives. Of the 349 members of the SHGs, 217 enlisted to undergo training.
The center was inaugurated on November 16, 2012, by Ramesh Subhramaniam, Head, Beneficiation Plant, Essar Steel India, Dabuna. The occasion was witnessed by more than 250 women representatives from 28 SHGs in the area, villagers, local dignitaries, the heads of two local Gram Panchayats, as well as community leaders from the focus villages.