Barbil (Odisha): JSPL Foundation, the social arm of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) awarded 60 rural women here on Wednesday for becoming community role models for their entrepreneurship skills. Recipients of JSPL Foundation-facilitated training in respective fields, the awardees of Deojhar and Kandra grampanchayats in Keonjhar district, have been able to bring a drastic socio-economic change in their villages.

On the occasion, while 50 women were honoured for pioneering mushroom cultivation and developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in their respective localities, 10 were recognized for taking up tailoring as an alternative source of income and bringing financial independence among them.

Congratulating the self-motivated women leaders, JSPL’s Barbil plant head Brij Badhadra said, “The real women empowerment is when women come forward to take up entrepreneurship and share in family’s financial decision-making process. JSPL Foundation’s support in empowering the rural women and make them self-reliant will accelerate in coming days.”

Guest of Honour of the event, Damayanti Hansda, Asst. Horticulture Officer, Joda Block wished the awardees. She said, “JSPL Foundation’s approach to motivate women entrepreneurship through such programmes is really commendable.”

Child Development Project Officer of Joda Block Sukanti Patra also congratulated the women for their unwavering commitment against all odds and achievement.

During interactive session, Malati Mahanta of nearby Kuldum village narrated her ‘scratch-to-success’ story. “Initially I thought I can’t earn a penny from mushroom cultivation as it is not my cup of tea. But JSPL Foundation’s training programme opened my eyes and now I’m earning more than Rs 40,000/- a year”, said an elated Malati.

The day-long event was oragnised by JSPL’s CSR deptt in which among others Deojhar GP Sarpanch Mangal Munda; PS member Judhisthir Palei and Barbil plant CSR head Shri Vargil Lakra were present. Through skill development and capacity building programmes including mushroom cultivation, tailoring training, lac cultivation, terracotta making, paddy and vegetable cultivation, JSPL Foundation has so far trained more than 500 women in the peripheral villages.