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BALCO helps women become self-reliant through mural arts training and enterprise support



Korba, October 1, 2020: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), a global leader in aluminium, has paved way for self-reliance of women through ‘Disha’, the company’s flagship project for women empowerment. Under the project, BALCO has rolled out various community development initiatives, training and skill development programs and formed Self-Help Groups (SHG), aimed at financially empowering women and enabling them to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures. Among these trainings, the mural arts program has emerged as a particularly lucrative option for women willing to run micro-enterprises of their own. Mural paintings are the most expressive among Chhattisgarh’s myriad handicraft artforms, aesthetically preserving the various facets of life, tradition and cultural heritage of the state’s tribal populace.

Speaking of Disha and other women empowerment endeavors by the company, Mr. Abhijit Pati, Chief Executive Officer and Director of BALCO said, “Self-reliant and financially empowered women are the reason for sustainable progress of any country. BALCO’s women empowerment projects have created new avenues for women to pursue enterprises of their own, supported through training programs and skill development initiatives. Today, under our CSR initiatives, as many as 3000 women have become financially empowered. It is a matter of great pride for us that women of Korba are becoming financially stronger and are able to contribute to the socio-economic upliftment of their family and society.”

BALCO has developed a Nari Shakti Kendra in village Dondro which functions as the hub for skills training and other developmental initiatives under project Disha. 80 women have already undergone two months training in mural arts at the center. After the training, some of the women established their own ventures. Expressing her gratitude towards BALCO, Rajkumari says, “The Nari Shakti Kendra is doing excellent work in the field of women empowerment and skill development. A nation can only progress when the women of that country are supported and empowered. Seeing my journey, many women from my village have now enrolled themselves for mural art training.”

Disha was launched under BALCO’s Corporate Social Responsibility wing in partnership with NGO Shrout and the Korba District Administration. The project aims to strengthen health and nutrition levels in village Dondro as well as undertake overall development initiatives for women, children, adolescents and youth. BALCO is also encouraging and supporting women for completing their education so they can tap into more opportunities and expand their entrepreneurial aspirations.Besides mural arts, the Nari Shakti Kendra has facilities for women to undergo training in computer skills, beautician courses and parlor management, tailoring, etc. Hundreds of women have already been trained in various skills at the center. The center also houses a library for anyone wishing to avail the services. Child health camp, skills training for young girls, healthy baby competition, maternity meeting, sports competition, etc. are also organized at the center.