Jharsuguda, November 26, 2021: Vedanta Jharsuguda, India’s largest producer of aluminium and value-added products, has bagged the prestigious 19th FICCI CSR Award 2020 in the women empowerment category for its flagship community development project – Subhalaxmi Co-operative, a 4100+ member strong all-women co-op society operating in Jharsuguda, Odisha. The FICCI CSR award recognizes the efforts of companies in integrating and internalizing Corporate Social Responsibility in their operations.
Conceived in 2008, Subhalaxmi Co-op is engaged in promoting sustainable livelihood opportunities among rural women, creating avenues for entrepreneurship through skill development and providing financial assistance to the members for furthering their livelihood. Started with only 10 women and their initial contribution of INR 1000, Subhalaxmi Co-op has grown in strength over a decade to support more than 4100 women today, with a fund base of over INR 3.5 crores. With presence in 72 villages of Jharsuguda, it is one of India’s largest rural women’s cooperatives. At its core, Subhalaxmi Co-op has four basic components – Capacity Building and Livelihood Promotion, Financial Services (savings & credit facilities), Social Development, and Collaboration & Partnership.
Receiving the award, Mr. Deepak Prasad, Dy. CEO-Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda said, “Being India’s largest aluminium producer, Vedanta Jharsuguda is a proud contributor to India’s journey of self-reliance. We are equally proud partners in the progress of our local communities. Our Subhalaxmi Co-operative is a shining example of what corporate and community partnership can achieve. These trailblazing women are prime testaments of true empowerment, and we are humbled to have played a role in their success. We dedicate the prestigious FICCI CSR Award to all the members of Subhalaxmi Co-operative and we will continue to enable them to become an inspiration to women across the globe. Vedanta Jharsuguda continues to march on in its endeavours to include more women in the socio-economic mainstream through this co-op and enable them pursue their aspirations.”
To ensure alternate means of livelihood for the women of the region, Subhalaxmi Co-op provides need-based financial services in terms of savings, credit and insurance; promotes micro enterprises through business development services; links potential entrepreneurs and enterprises with suitable market opportunities; trains and educates the members, elected representatives and managing committee to ensure effective functioning of the society; and works for the sustainable development of the members.
Expressing her delight, Mrs. Pushpanjali Seth, former President of Subhalaxmi Co-operative, said, “It is a matter of immense pride for us to see our Subhalaxmi Cooperative win the coveted FICCI CSR award. I am thankful to Vedanta Jharsuguda for providing this platform to thousands of women to grow and be empowered. Each one of our women members is a shining example of true empowerment that happens when one’s will to progress is enabled through skill development, financial literacy, financial inclusion and welfare schemes. This is just the beginning and we hope to evolve into a movement of great transformation that will stand as a beacon of empowerment for women all over the world.”
Highlights of Subhalaxmi Co-operative’s journey so far:
- Over 4100 women members associated with ~340 Self-Help Groups (SHG), hailing form 72 villages of Odisha
- Fund base of over INR 3.5 crores, including member savings and share capital, welfare fund, and profits earned by the co-op
- Supporting 1360+ micro entrepreneurs engaged in agriculture and allied sectors, service trades, petty business shop and vending, animal husbandry, etc., whose income levels have increased by 50%.
- Till date, the co-op has done business of over INR 30 crores through microfinance services alone.
- A unique social welfare fund ‘Subhalaxmi Mahila Kalyan Panthi’ has been created to provide financial support to expecting mothers, scholarships to meritorious students of matriculation, support in case of demise of spouse, etc.
- Nearly 94.7% of Jharsuguda’s population has been directly or indirectly positively impacted by Subhalaxmi Co-op.
- Owned and governed by a Board of Directors, who are democratically elected members for a tenure.
- Partnership with Government Line Departments, Research and Extension Institutions for various developmental initiatives.
Vedanta Aluminium Business, a division of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest manufacturer of aluminium, producing half of India’s aluminium at 1.96 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in FY21. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. 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.