ITC Logo
Media Centre
Press Report

ITC division helps women stand on their feet
Business Standard - 13 Apr 2006

Chandrasekhar / Chennai / Guntur

ITC-ILTD Division has injected two unique features into its corporate social responsibility programmes, under implementation in rural coastal Andhra – providing marketing avenues to products made by poor women and converting interest on loans it gave them into a revolving fund for further use by them.

ITC has formed 128 self-help micro credit groups comprising 1,810 women at Chirala (Prakasam) and Anaparti (East Godavari) and provided them Rs 97 lakh.

S Janardhan Reddy, chief executive officer (CEO), ILTD division, told Business Standard that the ITC had so far formed 500 SHGs with a membership of 10,000 in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and helped 4,640 women entrepreneurs grow.

ITC aims at forming 2,000 SHGs in these states with a membership of 60,000 and creating 10,000 women entrepreneurs by 2010. They would be trained in various skills and handling of bank and micro credit accounts.

He said the company’s agarbatti converter in Bangalore, which adds scent to agarbatti, gave training to Chirala and Vadarevu SHG members and are procuring agarbatti roled by the latter. The ILTD at Chirala is purchasing masks made by them on a large-scale for its tobacco workers.

An SHG member, he said, now earns Rs. 6,000 per month on supplying masks to ILTD while those engaged in emboidery makes Rs 3,000. While those who are employed in growing vegetables, dairy and floriculture earn Rs 3,000 a month, women engaged in tailoring and agarbatti rolling earn Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,800 respectivey.

Janardhan Reddy said the company, through NGOs like Rakshana and Chaitanya Development Society (CDS), trained and helped SHG women to take up different business ventures ranging from dairy to making prawn pickle.

ITC, through Rakshana, has trained 600 women in various trades and skills and formed them into 71 groups at Chirala. It gave Rs 4.80 lakh as seed money and helped 383 women set up 30 enterprises. The NGO conducted health and nutrition camps for mother and child care in 10 villages. It has also constructed about 140 toilets.

The company, through CDS, trained about 150 young women in sewing at Vadarevu. Women were trained in rolling agarbatti and making fish and prawn pickle. About 1800 families were helped in raising gua, pomegranate, coconut and sitaphal under backyard gardening. In the same village, 213 toilets and 38 houses were constructed by the company.

He said ITC was also running 35 supplementary education (tuition) centres for up to fifth standard for the benefit of poor students in 27 villages in Prakasam and East Godavari districts. About 1,500 students, 1,049 of them at Chirala, benefited from the programme. Eleven bonded child workers were liberated.

The tobacco major also constructed class rooms, drinking water facilities and toilets and donated computers, sportsware, benches, tables and teaching aids to about 100 schools in Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and East Godavari districts, benefiting about 20,000 rural students, he said.