Narendrapur (Odisha): Gruhalaxmi Cooperative, formed by the women from neighboring villages around the plant of Tata Steel BSL located at Narendrapur of Dhenkanal district and mentored by its CSR wing, has started selling its products to the company.

Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president, Corporate Services, Tata Steel formally launched this business linkage in a function held in the housing colony of the company. Tarun Daga, MD, Tata Steel Utility and Infrastructure Services Ltd, Mohit Das, Chief, Corporate Services, Tata Steel BSL, Sarvesh Kumar, Chief, Corporate Communications, Tata Steel, five representatives of the cooperative and other officials of the company were present on the occasion.

Thanking Tata Steel BSL for the initiative, Pranati Naik, president of the cooperative said, “Earlier we never thought that our Self Help Groups (SHGs) would be able to earn money from enterprises. Now with proper training, guidance, facilitation for supply of raw material and market linkage by the company we have been able to add to income by selling our products to market.”

Reaffirming the group’s commitment for inclusive growth, Chanakya Chaudhary urged the cooperative members to plan for long term business prospects and prepare themselves accordingly while interacting with them. Tata Steel BSL stands committed to continue support to the cooperative to take it to newer heights, he added while receiving a trolley from the members with the first batch of products including phenyl, hand wash, incense sticks, etc. sold by them to the company.

The cooperative has been developed as part of Women Empowerment & Entrepreneurship (WEE) project of Tata Steel BSL, which aims at sustainable livelihood promotion through institution building and to enhance the quality of life through creation of micro enterprises. Starting in March 2020, Gruhalaxmi Cooperative has more than 1380 members from 12 periphery villages of Nuagaon, Shibapur and Kusupanga panchayats of Dhenkanal district. Out of them, 326 women are engaged in different enterprises like, mushroom cultivation, incense stick making, grocery shops, phenyl making, poultry, dairy, pisciculture, goat rearing, vegetable vending, etc. with great zeal. Henceforward Tata Steel BSL will also buy products from the cooperative as per its requirement.

Executives of CSR wing of the company Dibyahas Roy, Head and Renuka Singh, Senior manager conducted the programme.