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Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labor & Employment Rameswar Teli virtually launched ONGC-supported Assam Handloom project Ujjwal Abahan  on 6 August 2021. This was the launch of third handicraft project supported by ONGC, under the aegis of the Petroleum Ministry, as a part of the observance of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – celebrating 75 years of Independence. The project will support and train over a hundred artisans of Bhatiapar of Sivasagar in Hathkharga handicraft.

Stating that ONGC has earlier taken several initiatives to boost the country’s handloom sector, Mr Teli said the projects launched as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav not only promote handicrafts but also help in economic freedom of the women in the rural areas. The Minister further cited some of the eco-friendly projects earlier undertaken by ONGC in Upper Assam and asserted that the projects will succeed in empowering and encouraging women in different backward areas of Assam.

MoS MoPNG Rameswar Teli launching ONGC-supported Assam Handloom project
MoS MoPNG Rameswar Teli launching ONGC-supported Assam Handloom project

Thanking ONGC, Mr Teli mentioned that the Assam Handloom project is worth over 26 lakh rupees and expressed confidence that it will substantially benefit the local weavers, subsequently boost the rural economy. He noted that technological development is key to increase productivity through these projects.

The virtual launch was graced by the attendance of ONGC CMD Subhash Kumar, Secretary MoPNG Tarun Kapoor, ONGC Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal, Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma, CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM, key executives from ministry and the oil & gas industry and local beneficiaries from Assam.

CMD Subhash Kumar noted that it is a matter of pride and honor to host such CSR project as a part of the government’s celebration of the 75th year of Independence. Mr Kumar mentioned that ONGC is supporting 15 projects among the 75 projects to be launched till 15 August 2022, under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

CMD delivering his welcome address
CMD delivering his welcome address

“All the 75 projects will be instrumental in reviving 75 handloom products in the country and will also work towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. ONGC will continue to add value and support the communities in and around its operational areas,” said Mr Kumar.

Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor said it is commendable that ONGC through this unique CSR project is supporting handicraft and generating employment in rural areas. He noted that the skill-based training included in the projects is a major leap towards empowering underprivileged people of the country. He encouraged ONGC and other PSUs to undertake more such CSR activities for the welfare of the community by boosting income generation.

Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor delivering his address
Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor delivering his address

Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal thanked the key guests at the occasion for gracing the virtual ceremony. She further lauded the support of NGO partner North East Development Forum (NEDF) in the implementation of the project. Dr Mittal noted that 13% of the Indian export earnings is generated through the handloom sector; hence, boosting the sector is also key for the growth of the Indian economy at large.

Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal delivering the welcome address
Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal delivering the welcome address

Mentioning that 7 August is observed as the national Handlooms Day, Director (HR) said that the launch of the project, a day before that, brings more gravitas to it. On the location of the project, she noted that almost all executives of ONGC has at least once in their tenure worked in Assam and have umbilical cord with Assam’s soil and people and its rich culture.

Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma joined the launch from the location at Bhatiapar of Sivasagar, with Assam Asset Manager, Basin Manager and CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM. Mr Sharma, along with NEDF functionary Mrs. Priyam Hazarika, virtually presented the progress of the project at Bhatiapar.

Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma at the location of the project in Bhatiapar
Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma at the location of the project in Bhatiapar

CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM presented in detail on the project and its implementation plan. He explained the concept of the idea of art and handicraft leading to livelihood. He stated that ONGC approach is primarily focused on capacity building, project development and sustainability. He further explained ONGC’s modus operandi, strategic intervention from ONGC Foundation, NEDF journey, etc.

CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM
CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM

The event was coordinated by Chief Corporate Communications Harish Awal. Mr Awal shared the various facets of the handloom artworks of Assam. He also briefed on the different projects to be implemented during the first phase of the implementation of handicraft projects till 15 August 2022.

Chief CC Harish Awal (Left) and Chief CSR Somesh Ranjan
Chief CC Harish Awal (Left) and Chief CSR Somesh Ranjan

Chief CSR Somesh Ranjan delivered the Vote of Thanks. Thanking all the stakeholders of the project, Mr. Ranjan said that an inspired team work has resulted in the success of this project implementation.



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