Tata Power's subsidiary empowers women through self-help groups in Gujarat

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on December 25, 2013

Tata Power, through its wholly owned subsidiary the Coastal Gujarat Power Limited has adopted a multi dimensional community development programme that has benefited villagers of Tunda, Vandh, Modhva, Tragadi Bunder, Mota Kandagra, Nana Bhadiya, NaniKhakhar and MotiKhakhar villages in Mundra and Mandvi Taluka, Gujarat.

With the aim of ensuring a sustainable future for the villagers including the fishermen and women community, the company has undertaken several corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Tata Power has initiated and encouraged the formation of self help groups (SHG) by way of implementing various income generation trainings and carrying out skill upgradation training to help the women earn a better living.

The first SHG was formed in Tunda Vandh village in 2008. The numbers have now reached to 45 SHGs across seven villages of Mundra and Mandvi Taluka of Kutch. More than 450 women are a part of the SHGs and are community representatives in their villages.

The programme is aimed at strengthening women’s self esteem. It enables the women to enhance their living standard as well as of their families. It also reduces women’s dependency as well as gender prejudices amongst the community at large, the company said in a statement.

Information sessions and a `sakhi mandal' scheme by the government have helped sensitise the community about the importance and need for SHGs. A special programme was also carried out to offer credit support through bank tie-ups to encourage women to initiate their own ventures.

While 20 SHGs have been credit linked with banks and have availed of Rs 11 lakh as credit support, others members are encouraged to save and deposit the same in a special account at a bank nearest to them.

Another 13 groups have successfully received loans worth Rs 50,000 and two groups have received loans worth Rs 1,00,000 each, from the District Rural Development Agency.

Till date, a total of 25 groups have set up bank accounts and as on July 2013 had a cumulative savings of Rs 9.87 lakh. The promotion of micro finance programmes as a key strategy for the alleviation of poverty and women empowerment has also benefited nearly 90 women so far, noted the company.

Under the initiative aimed at training and development of women, the company involved more than 40 women in an exposure familiarisation visit to Tata Chemical’s Mithapur plant and provided them a first hand insight into the workings of SHGs in that area.

In other such familiarisation visits, the company took 32 women to the non governmental organisaiton Nakhatrana Mahila Vikas Sangathan in the city and 30 women to Bhuj to provide them first hand experience of handicrafts. The company also imparted agriculture related training to 20 women and organised a familiarisation visit for 40 women in association with the Vivekanand Research and Training Institute.

The success of this unique initiative has motivated more women to participate and form additional SHGs. Women have also now become proficient at enhancing their earning capabilities. A special programme conceptualised by Tata Power promoted value added traditional embroidery crafts and developed market linkages for the women to increase their earnings.

Published on December 25, 2013

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