Bhubaneswar: In a bid to empower and encourage women, bicycles have been distributed to the members of various Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) of Odisha, preparing incense sticks or Agarbati being facilitated by Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS ).
Incense sticks or agarbati are being supplied to ITC Ltd. The distribution of bicycle was done in ORMAS premises in SIRD &PR Campus today. On this occasion the Chief Guest, Pradip Kumar Amat, Minister, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water handed over bicycles to thirty (30) women Agarbati rollers.
It was made in presence of Sushil Kumar Lohani, Principal Secretary, PR&DW, Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar, Chief Executive Officer-ORMAS and M. Muralidhar, Head of Operations, ITC-MAB (Matches & Agarbati Business), Chennai.
On this occasion Minister Shri Amat stated that in order to make rural women self-reliant and empowered such initiatives will definitely play a key role. ORMAS in association with ITC has brought a nice initiative which in turn will increase the participation of women in small scale enterprises like agarbati-making.
Further, he added that in the coming days, ORMAS under Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department will launch more such initiatives to strengthen the economy of rural Odisha.
Principal Secretary, Shri Lohani, stated that such initiatives will encourage women SHG members to step out of the four walls of their house. They will not only be self-reliant but also act as a role model in their own home.
CEO ORMAS Ms. Kumar extended gratitude to ITC for providing cycles for making the rural women SHG members self-reliant and independent.
She said that, ORMAS will introduce more such initiatives and interventions with a vision to boost the income potential of the rural women producers to help them climb-up the ladder of empowerment and self-sufficiency. ITC Ltd. had signed an MoU with ORMAS on 14 October 2009 for a partnership. In this partnership ITC lends its support to facilitate in marketing of raw Agarbati produced by rural women.
ITC as a partner has collaborated with ORMAS to help the Agarbati rollers engaged in the project. Now ITC-MAB, Chennai has expressed interest to supply 200 ladies’ cycles to persons engaged in Agarbati making project in the different districts of Odisha to help them commuting to the work place on daily basis.
ORMAS helps ITC to find out potential groups of rural women/SHGs and do all necessary process to tie up with the Agarbati making activities in coordination with ITC’s officials and review/monitor the project.
At present the project is effectively going on in 12 districts; Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kandhamal, Kendrapada, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri. The Project is being carried out by 38 Women SHGs in these districts. Also, ITC has given so far more than 1000 pedal operated machines free of cost to the groups.
At present production capacity is 30 MT Agarbati per month, supplied by ORMAS groups to ITC. Till now more than 4,000 MT Agarbati has been supplied by ORMAS facilitated Groups to ITC. From this activity, the average monthly income of each beneficiary is Rs.3000 to Rs.4000. This has served as a livelihoods option for the rural women.