Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: ONGC launches second indigenous handicraft project

In continuation of the observance of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” – Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence – energy major ONGC has launched its second handicraft project for the promotion of the country’s indigenous art works. Through a virtual meet on 9 July 2021, Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal (on behalf of CMD Subhash Kumar) launched the unique project, which eyes to train for livelihood and boost entrepreneurship development of the Bhotiya tribe in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

Director (HR) during the launch of 2nd ONGC handicraft project
Director (HR) during the launch of 2nd ONGC handicraft project

The project undertaken by ONGC under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is expected to kindle the love for handicraft among the lesser privileged members of the Bhotiya tribe and will cater to the livelihood needs of over 400 artisans – mostly women. It aims at promoting the Bhotiya tribe through woolen weaving craft.

Stating that the initiative is amongst the rare positives amidst the pandemic glooms, Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal noted that such projects are a major transformation towards the economic stability of the women in the area, providing them with the freedom of standard living. Dr Mittal mentioned that the initiative is to protect and uplift the Indian tradition and its art works.

Director (HR) exhorting ONGCians to take pride and be engaged in projects like this
Director (HR) exhorting ONGCians to take pride and be engaged in projects like this

Affirming that ONGC has taken a major lead among Oil PSUs in promoting art and crafts in the country, Director (HR) said, “As an E&P entity, ONGC by nature is touching the lives of many across the country; now it is extending its bounds to reach out to and engage with the craftsmen of the country. The projects undertaken by ONGC are multi-dimensional, handpicked and strategically planned to help the local artisans cater to the demand of the market.”

For its second handicraft project, ONGC has partnered with renowned NGO – the SEWA International. Dr Mittal asserted that the NGO is committed to help in providing marketing support post project development. Abhishek Kumar from the SEWA association stated that the NGO, with support from ONGC, intends to provide the artisans with three ‘Ts’ – tools, training and technology.

Director (HR) Dr Mittal pointed out that apart from the monetary support, the satisfaction gained from projects as such is immense. She noted that ONGC is inviting all to celebrate the nation’s diversity and heritage with the launch of each initiative like this. She exhorted all to actively engage in the projects and take pride in it. “I appeal to all ONGCians to remain engaged in future initiatives too; even those launched by other PSUs. This is a great way to celebrate India’s 75 years of Azadi,” added Dr Mittal.

During the launch, CEO ONGC Foundation Kiran DM connected virtually from the location, with the local artisans of the Bhotiya tribe in Uttarakhand. To connect with the artisans in a touching mannerism, Director (HR) delivered a special address in Hindi, expressing her content towards the efforts put by the women artisans of the tribe. She encouraged the women to continue exhibiting their handicraft skills and asserted all support from ONGC towards their betterment.

Speaking at the occasion, Director (Exploration) R K Srivastava noted that ONGC is always on the forefront in contributing to the society, especially in sustainable projects like this. “These initiatives really define the theme of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Azadi is also the independence and preservation of our indigenous and sustainable livelihood,” said Mr Srivastava.

Director (Exploration) RK Srivastava addressing the virtual gathering
Director (Exploration) RK Srivastava addressing the virtual gathering

Under the aegis of MoPNG, ONGC along with other oil PSUs will be taking up 75 projects for promoting traditional Indian art and craft to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence – one project for each year of Independence. The CSR Department of ONGC, along with ONGC foundation, has developed five multi-dimensional projects related to five different trades under the guidance of Director (HR). These projects will be taken up throughout the year catering to different forms of art and craft.