Dalmia Cement Promotes Mushroom Cultivation In Odisha To Help Women Generate Livelihood

Cuttack: Dalmia Bharat Foundation (DBF) is facilitating various training and exposure programmes for Self Help Groups (SHGs) to ensure a dynamic and enabled environment which leads to growth and development.

As part of women empowerment initiatives for communities surrounding its Cuttack and Rajgangpur plants and Lanjiberna Mines, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd (DCBL) is promoting mushroom cultivation for women to provide opportunities and practical possibilities of improving capacity to earn a livelihood.

Dalmia Cement’s CSR team is engaged in training women in mushroom cultivation at Lanjiberna and it peripheral villages like Kheramuta, Jangartoli, Rumabahal, Dhaurada, Lamloi, Bihabandh, Gyanpali, Samleimunda, Damposh, Ghoghar, Meromdega (Kukuda), etc. and also providing SHGs with raw materials.

“Support and opportunity are crucial for people who have struggled with discrimination and marginalization for generations, to emerge with confidence and determination and pursue a livelihood activity. Our CSR team has experienced this particularly in their work with women’s groups and persons with disabilities,” said Ganesh W. Jirkuntwar, Senior ED & National Manufacturing Head, DCBL.

“By facilitating diverse skill trainings in Cuttack, Rajgangpur and Lanjiberna mines areas, especially at the grassroots, we believe that we will be able to bind people together to support each other, through SHGs, and this will have a positive social impact on beneficiaries as well as within communities because of the access to life changing opportunities being offered,” he pointed out.

Mushroom cultivation units have come up in most villages in Lanjiberna and Rajgangpur periphery areas have, enabling women to earn upto Rs 5000 per month.

Each beneficiary has laid 30 to 40 beds for mushroom farming, with each bed yielding around 3 kg mushroom.

Paddy straw mushroom, which is cultivated from July to October, plays a vital role in supporting families of these women.

In Cuttack area, 30 SHG members of 4 SHGs are involved in mushroom cultivation which generates income. Dalmia Cement provided them training and seeds, while cultivators invest in straw, polythene, besan etc. The average income of members is up to Rs 4000 per month.

“I earned around Rs 8000-10,000 per month from mushroom cultivation across 10 months of the year, barring two summer months. This helps me support my children’s education and also helps my husband manage the household better. I’m also engaged in imparting training to other women as I want to spread awareness of these benefits and make women independent like me. I’m truly indebted to Dalmia Cement for their support and guidance that has helped me reach such heights,” said Sabitri Patra, member of Priyalaxmi SHG of Dharada village.

Mushroom farming apart, Dalmia Cement’s CSR initiatives include promoting income-generating programmes like making of spices, pickle making, flower farming, organic vegetables farming, terracotta products making, etc. in several villages.

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