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Brooms To Banks: CSR For Women Power

This International Women's day (8 March) as we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, political achievement of women and take the #PledgeForParity, here's a look at two stories of women's empowerment - fuelled by CSR

Women at work at the Suraksha Brooms Making Unit, a Cairn India CSR initiative

“Now I am very proud to say I am an owner of a business; before the initiative I use to go for harvesting works as labour, but brooms unit made me owner of the business”. Pantadi Managa, resident of Surasaniyanam, a remote village in East Godavari district in coastal Andhra Pradesh, talks with pride about her thriving business, which came about as a result of interventions in the area as part of Cairn India’s CSR. Pantadi has seen her life transform from struggling in a village marked with absence of requisite education, skills and the resultant rampant economic challenges, like unavailability of sustainable livelihoods and increased migration. The village certainly didn’t seem to be gaining from the economic growth set in motion by opening of Indian industry in 1990s. The Ravva JV onshore terminal, operated by Cairn India, is the village’s first and only tryst with industrialization.

As part of its endeavour to make a positive difference in the lives of the local community, Cairn and Ravva JV decided to get involved in implementing community development projects in and around Ravva operational area in S’yanam. And the Suraksha Brooms Making Unit was one of the outcomes. Pantadi Managa and many other women now work together in the Unit creating high quality brooms. Additionally another group of women collect brooms sticks and supply to the production unit at a neat profit.

Pantadi Managa and Karri Nagalakshmi at the Suraksha Brooms Unit
Pantadi Managa and Karri Nagalakshmi at the Suraksha Brooms Unit

Currently the brooms unit is making production of brooms worth of Rs. 50,000 every month and members are earning about Rs. 1500 towards their wages per month and an additional Rs. 1000 towards profit which is saved in their bank account and shared proportionately every 6 months after allotting adequately for future business needs of the unit.

“It’s our own business, and now we learned how to run this business, thanks to Cairn India and FXBIS Team for all their support” declares a beaming Karri Nagalakshmi.

Talking about their interventions for women empowerment, Mayank Ashar, MD & CEO of Cairn India Ltd explains “We understand women empowerment as creating an environment where women can make independent decisions on their personal development as well as shine as equals in society. We have been consistently working towards initiating programmes and regular mentoring for their overall socio-economic enhancement.”

At the other end of spectrum is 23 year old, smart & talented college going girl Chanchal Jain, part of the new generation girls who dared to dream beyond conventional small city jobs and join Corporate life.

Chanchal is now a role model for many girls of her age in Barmer who dream of creating an identity of their own and prove they are no less than the boys of the district.
Chanchal is now a role model for many girls of her age in Barmer who dream of creating an identity of their own and prove they are no less than the boys of the district.

Belonging from a conservative family of Jain community in Barmer, Rajasthan, Chanchal had always dreamt of joining a reputed corporate company and creating an identity of her own. However like other college going youths of the district she had no idea how to make her dreams true. Cairn Enterprise Centre, a CSR initiative by Cairn India that works to create employability helped Chanchal transform her dream into reality. In a month long course, Chanchal along with other youths of Barmer was trained to build aptitude, numeric ability, English proficiency along with personality grooming to make her ready for corporate life.

After taking the preparatory course at CEC, Chanchal underwent an interview organised by HDFC at Barmer and Jaipur. Chanchal was immediately selected by HDFC and was sent for in house training at Jaipur. She joined at a salary of Rs. 15000 and after completion of her first year she is one of the employees at the Bank nominated for a promotion and a hike in salary for this year. Chanchal is now a role model for many girls of her age in Barmer who dream of creating an identity of their own and prove they are no less than the boys of the district.

“The feeling of achieving something that you always dreamt of cannot be put into words. It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent” says a confident Chanchal.