• Project Thiramai provides vocational training in tailoring to underprivileged women across 12 villages in Tamil Nadu and nearby.
• On May 10, 2017, 235 women were felicitated with certificates and free sewing machines in a function presided by Thiru MC Sampath, Hon’ble Minister for Industries, and Thiru P Thangamani, Hon’ble Minister for Electricity, Excise & Prohibition.
• Dr. K N Ramachandran, Hon’ble MP, Sripernumbudur, Mrs. K Maragatham, Hon’ble MP, Kancheepuram and Hon’able MLA, Madurantakam, Mr. S.Pugazhenthi, were also present during the felicitation.
PepsiCo Foundation in association with Smile Foundation organized Project Thiramai’s convocation ceremony to felicitate 235 women students graduating from its vocational training program.
Project Thiramai, started after 2015 floods, provides free vocational training to women across a few villages in and around the Kancheepuram district, and is funded by PepsiCo Foundation. Women beneficiaries from the first two batches of the course were felicitated with certificates and free sewing machines.
The convocation ceremony was presided over by Thiru MC Sampath, Hon’ble Minister for Industries; and Thiru P Thangamani, Hon’ble Minister for Electricity, Excise & Prohibition, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Sanjeev Dham, Chief Operating officer, Smile Foundation said that he was glad to see the positive impact that their foundation has created in the area. He said that he was glad that women who have faced enormous difficulty especially in the aftermath of floods choose to come forward and empower themselves through this skill development program.
Apart from providing training, Project Thiramai also connects women who have graduated to garment businesses around the area so that they can find suitable employment or explore options like working from home.
Ms. Poonam Kaul, Vice President – CSR, PepsiCo India said that they were happy to be a part of this wonderful initiative that empowers the economically weaker section of society, in the area around their manufacturing unit at Mamandur by teaching them skills and enabling them access to employment. She observed that there were many garment making units operating in the area and hence there will always be a need for the skilled workforce.
PepsiCo Foundation, through Smile Foundation, has been running three programs across nearby villages – Smile on Wheels mobile health vans, a School Health Program, and Project Thiramai for Women Empowerment through Vocational Training.
Smile Foundation has set up four vocational training centers in Mamandur, Nelvoy Road, Salavakkam and AP Chathiram. The organizers said that the curriculum of the three-month vocational training program was designed by professionals and participants learned to stitch women and kids’ garments, among others.
The trainers also touched upon the maintenance of sewing machines so that participants could do small repairs, etc. by themselves. Other modules like yoga, meditation, nutrition, etc. were also added to the curriculum.
PepsiCo India and its partners have five manufacturing facilities in Tamil Nadu, creating employment for more than 15,000 people. It seems, during the floods of 2015 over 1.4 million liters of Aquafina water and 38,000 kg of Quaker oats were distributed to affected people, according to their officials.
Through their CSR initiatives, PepsiCo resolves to give back to the society through various development programs for the underprivileged and disabled.
Disclosure: The post is in collaboration with PepsiCo India.
Related Reading: Project Thiramai by PepsiCo & Smile Foundation.