To build the capacities of women in villages and supplement their family incomes, Tata Steel has adopted the Small Savings and Micro Enterprise route.
Self-help group is an effective way to tackle poverty and to enable communities to improve the quality of life. The intervention includes capacity building of members on group dynamics; management of group accounts and also on chosen enterprises and an income generation programme inclusive of marketing linkages to ensure sustainability of the enterprise. This also empowers rural women who otherwise are marginalised due to illiteracy, inability to get quality health care services and above all poverty.
The small business units operated by them include poultry farming, pig and goat rearing, soap making, phenyl making, mushroom cultivation, nurseries to raise sapling, seedless tamarind making, tailoring, paper bag making etc. More than 700 SHGs accounting for 9000 plus members, of which, SC/ST members are nearly 3800, function with the support of Tata Steel, as part of its Affirmative Action policy.
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have emerged as an extremely successful mechanism for Tata Steel to enlarge the scope for women from socially and economically marginalised communities to participate in family decision-making and gain access to grassroots democratic institutions while also boosting their economic self-reliance. SHG women keen to establish enterprises are trained in association with Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII).
Empowerment through SHGs in Kalinganagar
The Tata Steel Parivar Women SHGs are no longer just micro-credit institutions; but they are now a vibrant social institution devoted to all-round development of the people residing in and around the areas of company operations.
Tata Steel’s Resettlement and Rehabilitation initiative has been geared by the SHG women, who have contributed proactively in improving the quality of life within the community. From encouraging children to attend schools and monitoring their progress to conducting forums where healthcare issues are discussed, women SHG members have proved their worth. In order to enable the women achieve better levels of income and economic stability, the rehabilitation and resettlement team at Tata Steel continues to impart skill-based capacity enhancement trainings in Soura painting, stitching, poultry and goat rearing as well as computer based literacy programmes.