- In true Aatmanirbhar’ spirit, the paver blocks used at Kaladwas, Rajasthan road were manufactured locally at Hindustan Zinc’s paver block unit
- Hindustan Zinc launched a unique business model that effectively repurposes process waste to wealth
- Paver block unit has an all-woman workforce, offering a unique livelihood opportunity and a right market linkage to the tribal women from Karget village
Udaipur : Good infrastructure is one of the building blocks of a nation’s progress. India has a thriving construction industry, and 25% of the construction workforce is now comprised of women.Hindustan Zinc, reiterating its commitment to developing the rural and tribal areas took up the initiative to construct a 600 meter road from the main link road in Kaladwas village in Rajasthan to the cremation yard. This Paver Block manufacturing unit has the capacity to manufacture 3,000 high quality Paver Blocks per day and it is being operated by Sakhi women.
The Paver Block Making Microenterprise Unit at Debari is completely run and managed by tribal women from Karget, a tribal village at Debari. This paver block-making unit set up by Hindustan Zinc utilises process waste and other materials and converts them to paver blocks using technology patented by Hindustan Zinc. The objective of establishing this unit is to financially empower rural women. Since the inception of the unit, these Sakhis have already made more than 55,000 Paver Blocks, from which sale of about 6.5 lakhs have earned an income of 1,50,000.
Hema Gameti (28 years), Karget Village, Udaipur, JagoSakhi Village Organizationsaid, “It is a feeling of great pride that I am a part of the paver block making unit at Karget. Working in a microenterprise that is run completely by women is not something we would have ever imagined for construction industry and getting to work here is like a dream come true. For someone like me who has not completed her formal education, it is often difficult to find a source of livelihood that provides us with a decent income as well as a sense of dignity. Hindustan Zinc’s paver block making unit has not just skilled us, but also provided us with a platform where we can feel safe and also connected with our fellow women workers.”
Udi Bai (34 years), Karget Village, Udaipur, JagoSakhi Village Organizationcommented, “Living in a tribal village, it is difficult to find a sustainable source of livelihood. We usually have to travel far away to do daily wage jobs. This paver block making unit has not just provided us with an opportunity to work very close to home, it has also connected us with fellow women from our communities. We can proudly say we are running our own completely women led microenterprise, that too in a construction industry, which is usually a male dominated industry. We are setting a precedent and this will set an example for many other women to have bigger aspirations, because dreams do come true!”
Present at the marquee event, Chief GuestMr. Gulab Chand Kataria – MLA Udaipurappreciated the efforts made by Hindustan Zinc in uplifting the standard of living of their local communities and said “Hindustan Zinc has worked on community development in different areas in Udaipur. They have done wonderful work of constructing this road with paver blocks made by SakhiSelf Help Group women. I highly appreciate it and would recommend that you make even more self-help groups so that women can have a better market linkage and earn a better livelihood.”
The new road has made life very convenient forcommunity members living in and around the village. Previously, there was no road in this part of the village, and community members used to face a lot of issues during the monsoon because of flooding of the road. Hindustan Zinc along with constructing the road also designed drainages keeping in mind the convenience of villagers and even cattle. This road is a high-quality road, constructed using paver blocks where half of these blocks are made by the SakhiPrerna Paver Block manufacturing unit at Debari.
Mr. Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc said, “We at Hindustan Zinc have taken another step towards evolving infrastructure at the grassroots level. We have fostered the women of tribal communities as a part of our paver blocks units at Debari. Sturdy infrastructure is imperative for sustainable livelihood and is one of the fundamental requirements. The paver brick road in Kaladwas is a necessity for the community, especially in the monsoon. In addition, our paver blocks units will give the Sakhis a tangible sense of achievement, as the fruits of their labor will be enjoyed by their own community. We aim to provide them with an equal employment opportunity without any gender bias.“
The rural economy has been facing challenges the most during times of COVID, and setting up a microenterprise like a paver block manufacturing unit has been a boost to the income of such rural households.
After agriculture, construction is the second largest industry in India, contributing significantly to the overall GDP of the nation. Predominantly women have been entering this industry in recent times. Recognition of the role of women in the construction industry is important not only for achieving higher growth, but for attaining an overall social development in our country.Hindustan Zinc’s women-run paver block manufacturing units play a crucial role in helping women in the construction workforce get the recognition they deserve in an equalitarian society.
The other dignitaries like Mr.Arjun Lal Meena– MP, Udaipur; Mr.Phool Singh ji Meena – MLA, Udaipur Rural; Ms. Mamta Kunwar, District Pramukh; Mr. Leeladhar Patidar – SBU Director, HZL Debari; Mr. V. Jayaraman – Head Corporate Services and Ms Anupam Nidhi – Head CSR, HZL were also present at the event.