Press Release: Tata Power launches ‘Project Vartika’ for women empowerment and self-reliance in Mundra, Gujarat

~Enhances leadership qualities and intervention capacities of women~
~Augments social and financial independence of women~

National, 28th January 2014: Tata Power, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) is committed to promoting women empowerment and gender equality. In continuation with these values, Tata Power has undertaken numerous initiatives for the sustainable development of women community in Mundra.

Rich and vibrant in heritage, the Kutch region is renowned internationally for traditional arts and crafts. The womenfolk tend to their houses, looked after cattle and were dependent on men with almost no access to improving their income. Recognising these needs for woman folk, Tata Power launched ‘Project Vartika’ in addition to other development projects for villagers, fishermen and children. Project Vartika”, is a special programme designed to endorse value added traditional embroidery crafts and develop market linkages for women to increase their earnings and livelihood profitability.

The objective of this project is to provide hands on training to women to enhance their skills in arts and crafts. Through the enhancement of these skills, Tata Power aims to make the community economically independent and enable them to take independent decisions for their families. This programme aims to position women at the same level as men and empower them with self-respect by allowing them to be an earning member of the family, thereby doing away with gender prejudices.

Speaking on this initiative, Mr. K K Sharma, ED and CEO, CGPL stated, “Tata Power’s ‘sustainability model of Leadership with Care’ is sharply focused on community development and being a neighbour of choice. Women are the crux of India, and their self-sufficiency plays a huge role in the development of the country. We firmly believe in ‘equal opportunities for all’ and endeavour to eradicate discrimination against women by supporting, empowering and equipping them to be independent and self-reliant. At Tata Power, women empowerment is of paramount importance and we aim to initiate additional projects in this direction”.

The first SHG was formed in Tunda Vandh village in 2008. The number has now reached 38 SHGs across seven villages of Mundra and Mandvi taluka of Kutch. 480 women are a part of the SHGs and are community representatives in their villages. Offering social and economic benefits, SHGs enable women to increase their savings and gain access to credit which banks are increasingly willing to lend. They act as community platforms on which women can become active in village affairs, stand for local elections or take action to address social or community issues like the abuse of women, alcohol, the dowry system, etc. SHGs have also helped to promote savings and yield economic benefits, reduce the dependence on moneylenders and have resulted in empowerment of women.

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