Nuvoco Vistas Corp Ltd (formerly Lafarge India Limited), one of the leading building materials manufacturers, has bagged the FICCI CSR Special Jury Commendation Award for the year 2016-17 in the women empowerment category at the 16th edition of FICCI CSR Award ceremony held at New Delhi. They were awarded for their project ‘Samridhi’, which has brought about economic empowerment of women in the community by engaging them in sustainable sources of livelihood.
The project has been implemented in Gangajalghati block of Bankura District, West Bengal. The project supports 120 women across five villages – Barbaid, Deuli, Latiyaboni, Machhbanda, and Nidhirampur. Through this initiative, Nuvoco aims to make women an equal contributory member of the family. Project Samridhi has managed to change numerous households by empowering the women through financial independence leading to stronger voice in domestic decision making. Additionally improving the overall quality of life through better access to education, nutrition intake and assets creation.
The project was started as a pilot in 2014-15 with just 10 households from small and marginal families in two villages. Gradually reviving and reinstating the Self Help Groups (SHG’s) started by adding more technical know-how for promoting mushroom cultivation on a larger scale. This activity has added nearly 40 per cent increase in overall income of these households giving the women of the villages an equal footing with their male counterparts. A self-sustaining business plan has also been set up for the same where the mushrooms cultivated, are marketed by the villagers.
Commenting on the win, Ujjwal Batria, Country CEO, Nuvoco, said, “We are humbled by this recognition of our efforts towards creating a better tomorrow for women and bringing them at par socially as well as economically with their male counterparts. As a socially responsible corporate, we have embarked upon many social engagement programs with an aim to make a difference in the lives of the people and communities we operate in. We are particularly proud of the relentless efforts being put in by our team members in this journey towards achieving excellence. Together we aim to bring up the marginalised communities and help them with a sustainable and reliable source of income, so that they are independent.”
Some of the nominees in this category were Apollo Tyres Ltd, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited and Aditya Aluminium Hindalco Industries Limited. As part of the judging criterion, companies were assessed on issues taken up, target population, scale, location, replicability, sustainability, innovation, scalability, participation/involvement, finances and impact.