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Threaded with Hope: UltraTech's Empowering Journey with Rural Women in Tamil Nadu

By auther pic. CSRBOX

April 1, 2024

Threaded with Hope: UltraTech's Empowering Journey with Rural Women in Tamil Nadu

UltraTech

Though the fight has observed astonishing progress, the sword of persistent challenges still looms over women's empowerment. From a corporate boardroom to a remote village, women in every corner of the globe still encounter numerous struggles that impede their advancement, growth, and opportunities to stand and showcase their true selves to the world. 

The stereotypical thinking rooted deeper within human traits has devastating consequences, exposing that the mere talks of progression are just the tip of an iceberg, the reality being submerged deep within. 

To begin with societal norms and stereotypes, women are still portrayed as less capable, inferior, or weaker to perform a particular chore, confining them to a certain role. Often, in rural areas, women are still considered to be only capable of domestic or household duties, depriving them of exploring even a single percent of their being. 

Education is a fundamental right of every citizen and is not gender-biased, yet millions of girls in some parts of the country are denied proper or even elementary-level education due to some antiquated cultural norms. Education not only uplifts a person as an individual, but it also allows them to thrive rapidly in this fast-paced world. Despite significant progress in empowering girl’s education, parts of the country, especially some rural areas, remain in the same mindset, depriving women of a proper education. 

Daily cases of violence against women showcase a dark and vicious side of our society, disseminating fear and insecurity in communities. The persistent issue involves sexual assault, eve-teasing, domestic violence, etc. These horrendous acts sow the seeds of fear, which is further deeply rooted within, causing mental trauma and restricting women's freedom and mobility. 

Delving into more prevalent issues like economic disparity, health rights, cultural barriers, political participation, etc., highlights considerable gaps that prove that there is still much room for advancement and improvement in achieving gender non-disparity. These issues constantly undermine women’s skills and efforts worldwide. Unfortunately, we are associated with close-mindedness, especially in rural areas, which disallows women to showcase alternatives and perspectives that they can offer. This narrow-mindedness is making the world more vulnerable for women, hindering their skills, defying them to stride forward, and telling the world that they have a lot to offer.

The Stride Towards Empowerment: Ultra Tech’s Initiative

The Arakkonam Cement Works, a unit of Ultra Tech in Tamil Nadu, is a prime example of social responsibility in empowering rural women in several villages of the state. Often, women in rural areas are bound to a disciplinary set of tasks, from household chores to livestock care and agriculture. Though these tasks also require handicraft skills and perseverance, often economic independence lags. The transformative journey seeks to uplift and upskill women by providing essential resources, methods, and opportunities to gain financial independence.

The unit has taken five villages—Kumpinipet, Melpakkam, Thandalam, Parithiputhur, and Chitteri—for their transformative project involving progressing livelihood and economic independence. Women from these villages are then given basic training in tailoring and embroidery as a part of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Apart from marketing profits, a company has responsibilities towards society as well, and following the CSR norms, Ultra Tech sought women from these villages to be a part of the initiative. This initiative carves out a path that breaks the daily working patterns, and apart from solely indulging in livestock and agricultural practices, these women are now gaining competent insights and developing new skills that open the door to their economic independence and progressing livelihood.

Impact Created

As per the reports, 2,202 women from Thandalam, Parithiputhur, and Chitteri have been successfully trained and certified as skilled workers in tailoring and embroidery. The training of women in the other two villages is still in process and yet to be completed. In terms of employment opportunities, the local textile industries have hired around 800 women. On a local scale, these skilled women are successfully generating income by providing their services locally.

The progression and the impact created should not be measured solely on the financial stability that the women of the villages have gained. Apart from economic empowerment, there are various disciplines in which these women have upskilled and gained new insights.

A person can be financially independent only when he/she has a skill to offer. The ultimate product of this initiative is for women to acquire practical skills through conceptualized training. Skill development not only opens the window to being economically stable but also stimulates creativity, uniqueness, and empowerment to contribute something meaningful to society. 

The women who strictly adhered to their daily activities, now find themselves having a flexible life by adapting to new responsibilities and routines. The acquisition of skills has opened several doors to breaking free of strictness and contributing to societal progress.

Social empowerment is another aspect of the initiative that adds to the skillset of these rural women. By providing efficient skills and platforms, the program not only fostered a sense of building communities and collaboration but has also encouraged women to express and connect among various communities. Women who used to feel marginalized within their communities have developed a sense of confidence and leadership that has paved the way for others to follow in their footsteps.

Conclusion

Slow progress is still progress. Though various sections of society still need to uplift from narrow-mindedness and gender disparity, even smaller steps can ignite the sparks of empowerment and progressive living. 

The tailoring and embroidery training initiative by Ultra Tech is an exceptional example of how corporate social responsibility can have a prolonged impact on society. By approaching women from rural sections and providing them with beneficiary skills, the company ensures development and sustainability in communities. 

Through adequate training, skill building, economic empowerment, and social inclusion, the program has carved various paths leading to a brighter and more prosperous future. From a woman’s perspective, it is a step ahead towards financial stability. From the family's perspective, a new source of income can provide steadiness and stability to plan for future needs. 

As the company expands its program to other villages, the incorporation of more women will create a wave of empowerment, ripples of which will surely be felt in different communities outside Tamil Nadu. 

Also Read: Honeywell & Americares Collaborate: Enhancing Rural Healthcare & Education

Author

CSRBOX.org is the single largest CSR information dashboard for CSR heads, board members of companies, nonprofit leaders, fundraisers, government agencies and social businesses to find latest updates in CSR domain in India. The platform is powered by India's largest social sector platform NGOBOX.

 

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