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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Empowering Women via Project Thiramai - Smile foundation and Pepsico initiative

This post is brought to you in association with Pepsico Foundation (CSR unit of Pepsico India) and briefs you about a recent event in which 235+ rural women were felicitated for their hard work and achievements. If this topic isn't of your interest you may check my travel posts here.

Post December 2015 floods, many villagers in TN were severely affected, with their homes/shops/livestock considerably damaged or destroyed. In order to help them bounce back, Smile Foundation, an NGO, aided by Pepsico Foundation launched a series of initiatives. Main one being Project Thiramai (Thiramai is Tamil word for Skills).

Four vocation training centres were setup in the villages of Mamandur, Nelvoy, Salavakkam and Chatiram- around 100kms south of Chennai, near Chengalpettu. Many local women were signed up for a 3 month stitching course during which they learnt sewing dresses. The course was supplemented by training on repairing the sewing machines, helping them save precious time and money otherwise had to be spent on the repairs, and additional sessions on Yoga and meditation. Women from 12+ villages benefited from this initiative.

On May 10th an event was organized to celebrate the success of this initiative and facilitate the trainees who successfully completed the vocational training. They were also rewarded with a free sewing machine so that they can start a tailoring business. They can alternatively seek job in nearby garment factories as well.

I was invited to attend this, but couldn't go being a working day. My fellow bloggers from Chennai including Ghunjain and Sarath managed to attend the same.
PC Sampath, Minister for Industries, Govt of TN, P Thangamani, minister for electricity, excise and prohibition, COO of Smile Foundation Mr Sanjeev Dham, Mrs Poonam Kaul, VP-CSR, Pepsico India and other dignitaries presided over the function.
Pepsico employs close to 15000 people in Tamil Nadu in its 5 different manufacturing facilities across the state, in addition to engaging with 400+ farmers.

Mr. Sanjeev Dham, Chief Operating officer, Smile Foundation said that the women were chosen from many diversities, many of them were physically challenged as well and demonstrated great dedication to complete the course. He also thanked Pepsico for their support.

Ms. Poonam Kaul, VP-CSR, PepsiCo India elaborated on the focus of PepsiCo Foundation’s community development and rehabilitation initiative with Smile Foundation and various livelihood enhancement initiatives taken for underprivileged families in villages around Pepsico's manufacturing plant in Mamandur. 

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