‘Project Thiramai’ was kicked off by PepsiCo right after the 2015 Chennai floods, to equip underprivileged women with skills that would essentially improve their livelihood to a varying degree. 235 women from 12 villages such as Mamandur, Thabalmedu (Palamathur), Natarajapuram, Nelvoy and Salavakkam among others focused on health and livelihood enhancement through this vocational training program, which was implemented by Smile Foundation. I witnessed this event where these women were felicitated with certificates and sewing machines as a part of Project Thiramai after receiving proficient training in tailoring.

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The initiative ran over the duration of three months. The training also incorporated repair and management of sewing machines so that students were not dependent on external help, thus saving them money and time. Special attention was given to the holistic development of these students. This initiative has been running three programs across these villages— Smile on Wheels (mobile health vans), a School health program and project Thiramai for women empowerment.

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Smile Foundation is a national level development organization directly benefiting over 400,000 children and their families every year, through more than 200 live welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood and women empowerment, in over 950 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India.

PepsiCo India has been a partner and a contributor to the growth of Tamil nadu since 1989. Pepsico India and its partners have five manufacturing facilities in the State , creating employment for more than 15,000 people through manufacturing , sales and distribution initiatives.. The company currently works with more than 400 farmers across the state for better cultivation practices and sourcing. Its direct seeding initiative for rice has helped farmers reduce the water consumption by 30% and helped save 1.5 billion litres of water

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The dignitaries present in the event were
Mr. MC Sampath, Hon’ Minister for Industries,
Mr P.Thangamani Hon’ Minister for Electricity, Excise & Prohibition, Government of Tamil nadu.

Mr. Sanjeev Dham, Chief Operating Officer, Smile foundation

Ms. Poonam Kaul Vice President – CSR, Pepsico India

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The event began with the lighting of a lamp. Mr. Sanjeev Dham thanked the PepsiCo foundation for their support on this amazing initiative and saluted the spirited women who took the first step towards being empowered. He then congratulated the first batch of women graduates and wished them luck for their bright future. This event was organized to celebrate the success of this initiative and felicitate the trainees who successfully completed the vocational training. They were also rewarded with free sewing machines so they could begin working. This project also aims to provide graduating students with job opportunities with business houses in the area, which offers them the choice of working from home even. Yoga and meditation classes, awareness on obesity and eradication of poverty as well as awareness on nutrition is also made part of the curriculum so that their entire families could benefit from the program.

Ms. Poonam Kaul said she feels proud to see women that have chosen to be economically empowered. Project Thiramai provides the necessary tailoring skills to women to help them bridge that gap.

During the unfortunate floods of 2015, PepsiCo India mobilized its sales team and factory staff to deliver relief to the people in need. The company has also supplied more than 1.4 liters of Aquafina purified water along with 38,000 kilos of Quaker oats.

Ministers MC Sampath and P Thangamani addressed the attendees by saying how happy they felt regarding the initiative of Project Thiramai, and its resolve to help the disadvantaged families in need. Through this CSR initiative, they’ve set a good lead for other corporate companies to follow.

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I This event was covered by both

Sarath Babu  and I, and this post is in collaboration with PepsiCo India !!!!

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This post is in collaboration with PepsiCo India !!!

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