May 2017: A year and a half has passed since the 2015 floods which left thousands of farmers in distress. Many ended up bankrupt after the floods, which were then followed with water scarcity in many areas of Tamil Nadu. There have been unpleasant moments where in farmers have lost hopes of bringing back stability, especially due to high interest rates for loans. The women have always wanted to help their men, but were at a loss for opportunities themselves. That's when PepsiCo along with Smile Foundation decided to take up an initiative that would support the community.
With an aim to ensure upliftment of the affected class of farmers, Smile Foundation along with PepsiCo decided to join hands to bring back a smile on their faces by starting a project titled "Project Tharamai". Under this project, women were given training on sewing techniques which would help them in sustaining themselves while bringing home a decent income. Some 235 women were a part of this first phase which lasted for a few months where they excelled in the art of stitching.
The success of this event was well accepted when, smile foundation along with Pepsi co decided to felicitate these ladies for their achievement. The major event was held on 10th May 2017 Chengalpat Thaluk, Kancheepuram district. Dignitaries included state ministers Mr M C Sampath (Minsiter of Industries, Govt of Tamil Nadu), Mr P Thangamani (Minister of electricity, excise and prohibition, govt of Tamil Nadu) along with COO of Smile foundation and Vice president of Pepsico, Corporate social responsibility (Ms Poonam Kaul).
The success of this event was well accepted when, Smile Foundation along with Pepsi Co decided to felicitate these ladies for their achievement. The major event was held on 10th May 2017 Chengalpattu Thaluk, Kancheepuram district. Dignitaries included state ministers Mr. M. C. Sampath (Minister of Industries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu), Mr. P. Thangamani (Minister of Electricity, Excise and Prohibition, Govt. of Tamil Nadu) along with the COO of Smile foundation and Vice president- CSR of PepsiCo.
The event began with the spokesperson from PepsiCo, who highlighted how they have been associated with the people of Tamil Nadu since 1989 and mentioned the aid offered by PepsiCo during the 2015 floods, where their teams were involved in rescue operations and provided aid in terms of drinking water and oat meals.
The other dignitaries and ministers addressed the audience on this wonderful cause, following which the ladies (about 235 of them) were honored with sewing machines for their achievement on having completed the program. The ministers also highlighted how this initiative would help the people of Tamil Nadu in current times and wished the graduates a happy future.
Smile foundation along with PepsiCo, has set up four centers across the state to encourage more and more women to become financially independent. Apart from teaching women basic stitching techniques to make various garments, the three month curriculum also helps these women develop holistically by teaching them yoga, education on obesity, etc. Though Tamil Nadu has seen some tough times, it’s good to see corporate companies take their corporate social responsibility (CSR) seriously and give back good to the people who have supported them.