This International Women’s Day 2023, AkzoNobel, the maker of Dulux paints is celebrating the rural women beneficiaries of its Project Indradhanush. Empowered by Akzo Nobel India, these women gamechangers are now driving micro-entrepreneurship and socio-economic development in rural India.
Since 2021, Akzo Nobel India’s ‘Project Indradhanush’ is creating awareness about entrepreneur opportunities for 15,000 women in 200 villages in the three states of Assam, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Already the initiative has empowered 600 women with vocational skill training in decorative paint application and provided entrepreneurial opportunities in these villages.
Elaborating on the aim of Project Indradhanush and its impact, Rajiv Rajgopal, Managing Director, Akzo Nobel India said, “At AkzoNobel, we believe that empowering women is the first step to building a more equitable future for local communities. Our Project Indradhanush is unlocking new skills and igniting entrepreneurial spirit in women at grassroot level. Each of our women entrepreneurs are much more than solo success-stories as they are inspiring other women in their communities to become financially independent. While doing so, Project Indradhanush is also contributing to take the male-dominated paint business in India towards a more diverse and inclusive future.”
The empowered journey is best summed by our Indradhanush women.
In 2022, Anamika Hazarika was the first women owner of Indradhanush dealership in the aspirational Darrang district of Assam. Within eight months, this homemaker is now a successful entrepreneur and is also guiding other women in her village to become financially independent. For Tulika Deka a tailor in Hapamara village in Assam, every day was a struggle to manage her store. Now, led by the strong demand for Dulux paint, she has already applied for a loan to expand her business and feels much more secure and in control of her family’s future.
At 40 years of age, Mamoni Dekha enrolled for Project Indradhanush’s vocational skill training on decorative painting. While her first project – repainting the local Government school helped her support her family with additional income, the subsequent assignments have helped her gain more confidence to take on bigger repainting projects. Similar is the case of Chandralekha who hails from the Karattai village in Tamil Nadu whose next dream is to become the most preferred professional painter in her village.