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CMD Subhash Kumar virtually inaugurated ONGC’s 4th handicraft project on 3 September 2021, to establish ‘Lac Handicrafts Unit for Training and Development’. The project, which is a part of the observance of India’s 75 years of Independence – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, is expected to train and encourage artisans, mostly women, of the villages from in and around Khunti of Jharkhand.

The virtual launch of the 4th handicraft project was joined by Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal, Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma, ED Chief CSR Somesh Ranjan and other key executives from across all work centers of ONGC. CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM joined the launch from the site at Khunti, along with the artisans and members of Collectives of Integrated livelihood Initiatives (CInI) – who has been the partner of ONGC in the LAC handicrafts project.

handicraft project

CMD Subhash Kumar noted that through such initiatives in the rural parts of the country, ONGC is striving for incubating the art and cultural where they belong and bring the market to them longing for their products. “These days most from the rural areas shift towards cities and towns and somehow the spirit of the Indian heritage and art gets dented. These initiatives will lead to a sustainable development, while art and heritage stays where it is, since the artisans from the rural or tribal areas won’t have to migrate looking for markets,” said Mr Kumar.

CMD addressing the virtual gathering during the launch of ONGC's 4th handicraft project
CMD addressing the virtual gathering during the launch of ONGC's 4th handicraft project

CMD stated that the projects will not only lead to sustainable development and women empowerment but also help towards the country’s overall growth. He asserted that ONGC will address the challenges faced by the artisans and the art and handicraft forms, thereby improving the rural livelihoods associated with the handicrafts and handloom sectors. Mr Kumar added that these projects, along with other flagship initiatives planned as a part of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, will significantly contribute to a resurgent, Aatmanirbhar Bharat. “ONGC feels pride and humbled to be associated as a CSR pioneer and champion in helping the artisans for their sustainable growth.”

Mr Kumar noted that CSR is not only a regulation for ONGC but it is a way of life, displaying the energy major’s commitment to the society. He stated that the idea of CSR is to trigger and initiate processes which will lead to revolutionary developments. He asserted that the projects launched by ONGC as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will ignite major changes to bring self-sustenance.

Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal said that connecting with the handicrafts industry in the tribal areas not only generates a sense of nationalistic feeling but also helps the artisans for sustained development as well as generates revenue for the country’s economy. “ONGC will remain actively involved in such initiatives, touching lives of people, not only in our operational areas but also other interior parts of the country,” asserted Dr Mittal.

Director (HR) speaking at the launch of the Lac handicraft project
Director (HR) speaking at the launch of the Lac handicraft project

Director (HR) further mentioned that ONGC’s third handicraft project for artisans Bhatiapar of Sivasagar in Assam, which was launched by Minister of State (MoS) Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) Rameswar Teli, was a big hit. “It is time to connect with the same spirit with the artisans of Khunti,” said Dr Mittal.

Director (Onshore) joined the virtual launch of the project along with CMD and Director (HRR) from Delhi
Director (Onshore) joined the virtual launch of the project along with CMD and Director (HRR) from Delhi

ONGC Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma reiterated that India lives in villages, and development of such art and craft for livelihood imbibes sustainability. Such initiatives by ONGC will bring a holistic development of the art and craft, and also in the lifestyle of the individual artisans, villages and consequently the nation as a whole. Mr Sharma mentioned that ONGC’s 4th handicraft project at Khunti aims at establishing handicraft unit with six well-trained master trainer and 25 trainee artisans, who are mostly women.

CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM gave a presentation detailing the entire implementation of the project. He mentioned that ONGC’s primary approach was to identify artisans, re-look at handicrafts to meet current need and identify the market. He also spoke on the strategic intervention from ONGC Foundation in establishing the Lac handicraft unit and details on the project.

CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM presenting details of the project
CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM presenting details of the project

Mr Ganesh from CInI thanked ONGC Foundation for its support in sustainable growth and women empowerment in Khunti. Local artisan Rina Horo expressed her gratitude and hoped that the project will help in escalating her family welfare by bringing in steady income. “This project will be example for several other women in the coming times,” said Ms Horo.

As a part of the observance of India’s 75 years of independence – Azadi Ki Amrit Mahotsav, CPSEs under the aegis Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas will take up 75 projects in different districts across the country. ONGC will take up 15 of the 75 projects and in the first phase five projects have been undertaken. ONGC had launched four initiatives till now to revive the diminishing and struggling handicraft projects across the country to empower the local artisans.

ED Chief CSR delivering the Vote of Thanks
ED Chief CSR delivering the Vote of Thanks

ED Chief CSR Somesh Ranjan extended the Vote of Thanks. Mr Ranjan reiterated that the Lac handicraft project will help and boost tribal artisans. He expressed optimism that there will be several similar initiatives to lead India towards a sustainable growth.



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