Minister of Primary & Secondary Education and Sakala of Karnataka B C Nagesh launched Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)’s sixth CSR project to promote arts and handicrafts in India. The project was launched in Bangalore on 1 December 2021 as a part of the observance of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – celebrating 75 years of India’s independence. The ONGC-supported project aims to create inclusive setups by providing artisanship training in block printing and employment for people with special needs and disabilities. The initiative is being carried out in association with Karnataka-based NGO Chiranthana.
During the launch, CMD Subhash Kumar shared a video message to highlight the significance of projects as such. The virtual launch was also graced by the presence of Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal. CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM joined the launch from the site of the project along with the Minister.
Minister BC Nagesh highlighted that the projects supported by ONGC to promote traditional art and handicraft actually signifies the true spirit of Azadi. He noted that while there is a prevalent belief among some people that the independence is only for a section of people like the bureaucrats and privileged, the CSR initiatives like this clearly shows that the fund reaches even the last person of the society.
Minister of Primary & Secondary Education and Sakala of Karnataka
B C Nagesh during the launch of ONGC's 6th Handicraft project in Bangalore
Mr Nagesh asserted that the Karnataka government is focused to take holistic approach to include every child in the education system. He stressed on the fact that the teachers working for the disabled children should be further sharpened with proper training. The Minister sought ONGC’s association to strengthen the state’s education system through CSR initiatives, especially in the rural areas.
ONGC CMD Subhash Kumar noted that ONGC has always valued the importance of promoting and preserving traditional Indian art and handicraft and has undertaken a number of CSR projects in those areas. Mr Kumar said that this sixth project is especially significant because it not only promotes handicraft but will also will create employment for the differently-abled people.
CMD Subhash Kumar underlining significance of the project
Mr Kumar mentioned that ONGC has undertaken other CSR projects in Karnataka earlier, like construction of new wing of Lady Goschen hospital at Mangalore, a boy’s hostel at S-VYASA University Bangalore and a stadium at Dharward. He said that this project, in association with NGO Chiranthana, will facilitate the artisans to further sharpen their skills and market their products, making the project truly inclusive. “Although the talented craftsmen and artisans of the country are adept in creating artistic products, they find it challenging to market their creations. ONGC will help in marketing of these products through retail sales, e-commerce sales and also for export sales,” he added.
Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal said that ONGC, being an inclusive organization, has been making all out efforts to nurture the abilities of everyone in the society. She mentioned that apart from the projects carried out as the part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, ONGC has earlier taken several initiatives for the preservation of art – from preservation of monuments to music and dance.
Director (HR) addressing the virtual gathering during the launch of the project
“ONGC CSR footprint is spread all across the country and not just in areas around its operational bases. While the organization is focused in touching the lives of people in every corners of the country, every department of ONGC has been on the forefront in taking such initiative, while continuing their core operations,” said Dr Mittal.
CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM presented a detailed overview of the sixth handicraft project. He said that handicraft though being the second largest source of rural income in the country is still an unorganized sector. He asserted that ONGC initiatives eye towards organizing the sector by identifying artisans, providing them with proper training and making their products saleable in par with the market requirement.
CEO ONGC Foundation presenting detailed overview of the project
Delivering the Vote of Thanks, GGM-Officiating Chief CSR D K Singh said that the development of six handicraft projects in the small span of time has been made possible for the commitment of ONGC Foundation in identifying the artisans. He said that the sixth project will generate income for the especially-abled by artisanship training; thereby creating inclusiveness in the society. He mentioned that projects as such will lead to sustainable growth by opening employment opportunities in rural India.
GGM-Officiating Chief CSR DK Singh delivering the Vote of Thanks
As a part of the observance of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, ONGC is collaborating with other oil PSUs, to launch various projects to boost the country’s indigenous handicraft sector. Center public enterprises under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas will be launching 75 different handicraft projects across the country till 15 August 2022. Among which, ONGC has taken the lead and is supporting 15 projects. Earlier, ONGC has launched five handicraft projects in Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.