Vedanta’s Subhalaxmi Cooperative Empowering Women, Uplifting Communities In Odisha

Jharsuguda: Vedanta Limited initiated ‘Vedanta Integrated Jana Jeevika Yojana’ in 2008 for the empowerment of the rural women in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district. That small spark has now turned into a full-fledged movement in the form of Subhalaxmi Co-operative Programme (SCP).

SCP provides its 4280 members in 353 Self Help Groups (SHG) with entrepreneurial guidance, training, financial assistance and market access to start their own business. Over the last two and a half years, SCP has imparted training to 1850 women. The initial member registration fee of Rs 1000 per person has grown into a corpus of Rs 3.77 crore. Approximately 83% of the loans from SCP have been availed for microenterprises and more than 1400 micro-entrepreneurs have emerged. Nearly 65 per cent of its member beneficiaries are from marginalized communities.

The microfinance facility provided by the cooperative has generated business worth Rs 37.29 crore since inception, a Vedanta release said.

To scale up and replicate this initiative in other areas, Vedanta has initiated ‘Project Subhalxami Udyogini’ to increase its membership base to 10,000 by 2025. The project, in partnership with the Enterpreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII)  plans to engage around 70% of its members in various entrepreneurship development programmes and enterprises. The project intends to increase the income of its members by 50%.

SCP is in the process of joining hands with  Mission Shakti, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Information Technology Development Agency (ITDA) and the Forest Department for further development.

Nalini Patel’s life was barely hand to mouth before she took a loan of Rs 2.5 lakhs from SCP to open a stationary shop. She now earns Rs 10000 per month. Rupsi Mehr of Kelendamal bought a sewing machine and was the first one start a tailoring unit in her village.

Today, Subhalaxmi Cooperative has emerged as one of the model community-based organisations in Jharsuguda and has changed the lives of over 10000 families.

Women are crucial agents of progress and development within rural communities. By empowering and enabling them to make informed choices about their families’ welfare have a significant impact on their wider communities.

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