'Project Saksham' Teaches Rural Women Self-Reliance Through Stitching Clothes

BHUBANESHWAR -- In its bid to empower rural women, Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a unit of Aditya Birla Group, has launched a unique project for the welfare of communities living in the vicinity of its project area in Odisha.

Christened 'Project Saksham', the new initiative involves an advanced training-cum-garment manufacturing unit at Tikiri in Rayagada district to help unemployed rural women engage in a sustainable livelihood and become self-reliant, said Vijay Sapra, Unit Head and President, UAIL.

Aiming at speedy inclusive development, the project imparts training to 38 women from the underprivileged sections living in villages surrounding the plant.

With 30 industrial sewing machines and four specialised machines, these women have already received a six month training on operation and product development, including quality control, to cater to the market demand, a company statement said.

Participants learnt basic machine operations, cutting and stitching of fabric to make petticoats, tops, kurtis, churidars, salwar kameezes, skirts, shirts and trousers.

Commercial production of clothes, particularly school uniforms, for institutional sale is already underway. In a short time, the products manufactured at the unit have received appreciation in the market, it said.

The unit received orders from Anganwadi Centres, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Nawarangpur and Malkangiri, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Koraput and Hirawats in Visakhapatnam, a company official said.

Enthused by these achievements in market linkage, the women are now developing their skills in making designer clothes. After adequate finesse in making designer clothes is achieved, market linkage would be facilitated with Boyanika and similar large-scale garment trading units, he said.

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