07/10/2015 3:24 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

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

NOAH SEELAM via Getty Images
Indian rural women use sewing machines at the Mother Teresa Rural Development Society centre at Narketpally of Nalgonda District, some 85 kilomeres from Hyderabad on September 9, 2011. The rural women of Nalgonda district formed a Self Help Group (SHG), supported by Mother Teresa Rural Development Society (MTRDS), a non-profit development organisation run by a group of voluntary social workers serving the marginalised farmers, rural women and weaker sections of the community towards their empowerment and sustainable development. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

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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