Scheme on in 5 States; Karnataka, Maharashtra on cards

Our Bureau

Rural power

The schemes

provide an opportunity to earn a regular and sustainable income to the unemployed rural youth and women who have no fixed income.

Kolkata, March 6

The personal and health-products major Emami Ltd, a member of the Rs 700-crore Emami Group of Companies, has launched an innovative rural self-employment programme, as part of the group's new CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative to help eradicate rural poverty.

In a bid to make the programme successful, Emami has entered into partnership arrangements with several agencies at different levels, like the regional rural banks (RRBs), gram panchayats, district rural development cells, farmers' clubs, youth clubs, NGOs and other Self Help Groups and other organisations.

The programme involves two new schemes - Emami Mobile Traders (EMT) and Emami Small Village Shops (ESVS). Briefing newspersons here, Mr S.K. Goenka, Managing Director of Emami Ltd, said this provides an opportunity to earn a regular and sustainable income to the unemployed rural youth and women who have no fixed income.

To extend market

Describing the entire exercise as a "win-win for all", Mr Goenka said the project enables the company to effectively extend its markets to the rural interiors, ensuring assured income, social benefits and genuine product availability at doorsteps for the village folk.

"And for the RRBs, the programme allows gainful utilisation of micro credit, to SHGs positive recoveries and extension of bank linkages."

Mr Goenka said the scheme initially introduced in Cooch Behar district of North Bengal was now successfully operating in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. He said plans have already been firmed up to introduce it in Maharashtra and Karnataka. At present there were 2,000 EMTs and 200 ESVS outlets conducting direct rural marketing of Emami range of products in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. Giving details of the scheme, he said EMTs ensure a guaranteed income of Rs 1,000 on goods worth Rs 4,000 sold per month. The rural folk manning these outfits are provided uniforms, winter and monsoon protection equipment and identity badges by the company.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 7, 2006)
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