Sitapur, 16th October 2023: Dalmia Bharat Group, India’s leading conglomerate with businesses in cement and sugar, announces the successful empowerment of 18000 women on International Day of Rural Women. Through the establishment of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), these women are provided essential skill training and access to vital resources for sustainable livelihood development. In collaboration with various organisations like NRLM, NABARD, etc. Dalmia Bharat organizes various training initiatives like micro-enterprise development, handicraft production, and others in both farming and non-farming sectors. All these activities are conducted in communities settled around their regions of operation across 12 states in India. These initiatives aim to upskill rural women to empower them, diversify their income sources, and provide access to formal credit systems. One of their notable programs in Uttar Pradesh is upskilling women artisans and revival of eco-friendly handicraft products like ‘Moonj’ craft and contemporary crochet. These products found a proud place of display as part of gift hampers for international delegates at the recently concluded G20 Summit. Dalmia Bharat has enabled over 800 women in the region to become financially independent earning a monthly income ranging from Rs.4000 to Rs 10000, significantly improving their individual well-being and the ability to support their families.
Commenting on the company’s initiatives on International Day of Rural Women. Ashok K. Gupta, CEO, of Dalmia Bharat Foundation said, “Rural women in developing countries play a vital role in food security and economic development but face severe marginalization, including limited land ownership, higher illiteracy rates, and unequal earnings compared to men. Dalmia Bharat is dedicated to uplifting marginalized rural women through holistic programs that bolster their income while managing household responsibilities. Our commitment aligns with UN Sustainable Goals, promoting self-reliance and gender equality for an inclusive and sustainable India, where empowered women drive community and national development.”
Dalmia Bharat is actively involved in reviving the traditional Moonj craft by working closely with women artisans from Sitapur. Known as “The Sarayan Collection,” the craftswomen create wall decor products made of a local wild grass called “Moon”, which thrives along riverbanks during the monsoon. The grass is harvested, sun-dried, dyed, and transformed into vibrant, eco-friendly, and long-lasting handicrafts. This initiative not only preserves traditional skills but also empowers over 250 women artisans financially, through a cooperative linked to the Farmer’s Producer Organization. The Craft Hub, another initiative, supports over 300 migrant women artisans in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, enabling them to create contemporary crochet products from the comfort of their homes. They utilize 100% natural materials and azo-free dyes, creating items suitable for all ages across the globe. They receive quality threads and collaborate with designers to craft contemporary products.
International Day of Rural Women, observed annually on 15th October, celebrates the vital role of rural women in agriculture, food security, and rural development. It highlights the need to empower them, address inequalities, and align with global goals for gender equality and sustainable development.