| “World Rural Women’s Day Celebrated
as “Okhai Day”
An initiative by Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development
Ahmedabad, 15th October, 2009: Empowering
a woman leads to the empowerment of the entire family, this ethos
has been the core value behind Tata Chemicals Corporate Social responsibility
mantra. Outlining this roadmap, Tata Chemicals Society for Rural
Development (TCSRD), the CSR arm of Tata Chemicals, created and
promoted ‘OKHAI’ in Mithapur, Gujarat with the aim of
generating employment in rural areas.
TCSRD has undertaken a revolutionary initiative by forming a women’s
Self Help Groups (SHGs) - Okhai, in the villages of Okhamandal region
wherein the members of these groups are involved in handicrafts
production. The products are sold under the same brand name and
the proceeds go towards their betterment.
TCSRD has decided to celebrated Oct 15th, which is observed as
the World Rural Women’s Day, as ‘OKHAI’ Day in
Mithapur. The Okhai store in Ahmedabad city showcased the handicrafts
skills of the tribal region of Gujarat.
The senior management officials from the Mithapur plant felicitated
and interacted with members of the SHGs. Also, a small skit showing
the initiatives was also performed by the local women.
The Okhamandal region in Gujarat is a drought prone area, where
handicrafts have been identified as a promising means of generating
livelihood for hundreds of women of this area.
Speaking on the initiative, Ms. Alka Talwar,
Head Community Development, Tata Chemicals Limited, said,
“We commemorate this special day every year by engaging the
rural artisans in various activities to make them feel special.
We have been taking similar initiatives constantly with an aim not
only to keep the art of Okha region alive but also to take it to
all parts of India and the world. This year co-incidentally the
day falls on Dhanteras (Lakshmi Poojan) and since every female symbolizes
Goddess Lakshmi therefore this day is not only to show respect to
the women of our rural nation but also to empower them and bring
to light their talent.”
At present, hundreds of women are benefiting from this programme.
The handicrafts made by these women are promoted under the brand
The thought behind Okhai being women can work from their home,
many women do not have the opportunity to meet other women from
different villages and interact with them. The objective of Okhai
Day was to create a platform thereby the members can showcase their
talents in the form of competitions and performing skits to get
a feeling of being a part of a bigger team.”