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On National Girl Child Day, Vedanta Aluminium renews commitment to empowering girls in rural India

As part of itscelebrations, the company’s units in Odisha and Chhattisgarh organized several activities focussed on improved education and health for young women and girls

January 2024:On the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24January), Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, has renewed its commitment to empowering girls and young womenliving in the vicinity of its operations in rural Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The company has implemented several initiatives with a thrust on ensuring access to better education, improving healthcare, eradicating child malnutrition, and creating wider avenues for skill development. Together, they are helpingbridge the gender divide and ensuring an equitable future for young women and girls across rural India.

As part of this year’s celebrations, the company undertook several initiatives focused on building financial independence among young girls and also imparting greater community awareness on health and gender issues. These included a collaboration with bankrepresentatives to conduct financial awareness sessions for over 100 young girlsaround the Jharsuguda unit in Odisha, explaining the several savings and deposit schemes for girl children in India.

An expert session on greater awareness of the rights of girls and the importance of female health and hygiene was conducted for more than 200studentsat Lanjigarh, Odishain collaboration with government medical staff. Employee volunteersfrom the company’s world-class alumina refinery in Lanjigarhalso organized activities such as singing, painting, and essay writing competitions at local schools.

Meanwhile, at BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer in Korba, Chhattisgarh, special activities such as a tree plantation were organized, where the unit planted one sapling each forevery community memberand employee raisinga girl child. Over 100 saplings were planted under this initiative. In addition, health and wellness workshops for new mothers were also organized, focused on imparting essential knowledge about infant care practices,childhood nutrition, and ensuring the overall well-being of the child.

Highlighting the importance of creating opportunities for girl children to progress, Mr. John Slaven, CEO, Vedanta Aluminium said, “Women are the real architects of society,leading the development of their independent family units and through them, their entire communities. By educating girls, providing them with the best possible healthcare facilities, and empowering them with the right skill sets, we support their journey towards developing into independent women who contribute to building a trulyinclusive society. At Vedanta Aluminium, we are not only committed to building strong sustainable industries but also strong societies, backed by strong and empowered women.”

A standout among the company’s slew of community initiatives oriented towards children is its flagship social impact program, Nand Ghar – which are modernized anganwadis that function as vibrant community hubs for holistic women & child development, providing quality healthcare and proper nutrition to children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.

In line with its vision to empower rural women, Vedanta Aluminium has also recently launched the third phase of Project Panchhi, a unique recruitment initiative, earlier this month in Jharsuguda, Odisha. Conceptualized under the visionary leadership of Vedanta’s Chairman, Mr. Anil Agarwal, the project is focused on meeting the needs of girls from marginalized communities. Through Project Panchhi, the company seeks to extend support to those high- potential girls who are likely to opt out of pursuing further studies and a fulfilling career due to financial constraints. The company is also empowering nearly 10,000 girls through its Nayi Kiran project in Chhattisgarh, focused on enhancedMenstrual Health Management (MHM) practices.Further, it is also unlocking avenues for growth through comprehensive trainings in   grassroots sports, such as archery and karate.

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 1stin the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2023 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.