PRESS RELEASE

Diageo India Community Programme Making a Difference in the lives of Odisha’s Women

Diageo India, a leading beverage alcohol company, as part of its community project, has helped set up mushroom production units at Allipur and Bergispentha villages in Odisha. The units would be run by women, empowering them to become self-reliant and earn a livelihood. The mushroom production units were inaugurated in the presence of Diageo Gopalpur plant head K. Jay Krishna, HR Manager Akshaya, Narayanpur Grampanchayat Sarapanch Himansu Prasad Rao, Samity Sabhya of Rangelunda block V.Sarbeswar Rao and Professor Mr. Suresh Behera, Berahampur University along with other project members from the village. The units were handed over to the women for its management.

As part of this project, women from the two villages were trained in mushroom cultivation on an “in home” pilot basis. Diageo India extended the support by establishing these production units once the pilot projects were successful. The units will not only directly benefit 60 women in generating livelihood but will also enhance nutritional status and thereby, health condition of the dependent families. The project is expected to have a positive influence on the community to become more and more self-reliant.

Speaking about the initiative, Sangeeta Thakral, Head CSR & Sustainability (DiS) at DIAGEO India said“We are really proud to see our efforts bearing fruit at the Mushroom Production Unit in Odisha wherein women in these villages have started their journey to become self-reliant or “atmanirbhar”.

Mrs. D. Chandrama, a member of mushroom production unit, Allipur expressed: I am very happy that I have started contributing to our household income with mushroom cultivation. With the support of DIAGEO and IGSSS, 15 members have initiated a mushroom production unit collectively. Every day we are harvesting 5-6 kg of mushroom and selling it in our village itself. The demand is so high that people have started giving us advance orders to encourage us to produce more mushrooms. We are also planning to increase the number of mushroom bed in coming days. I am very happy to be part of this income generation initiative”

“I am very much closely associated with the community in conducting meetings, training, facilitating various project activities time to time. The demand of para mushroom is quite high in this area. Allipur village and nearby village now started giving advance orders to the mushroom production unit as the quality of mushroom is quite good than the available mushrooms in the market. I felt very happy to see the good quality production. Seeing this demand and success, one more group has approached us to support in providing training, other technicalities, and input support” added Mangaraj Nag, Project Officer, IGSSS, Odisha.

Diageo India’s SHE program is a targeted intervention, at the grass-root level, designed to impact the communities around its manufacturing units situated in semi-urban and rural areas that lack basic infrastructure necessary for dignified living.