Date: November 2, 2023; Venue: Nattarasanpattu Village

Under the visionary leadership of our esteemed Honorable Chancellor, Dr. Paarivendhar, a transformative milk processing unit has been inaugurated to uplift the livelihoods of rural women in Nattarasanpattu village. This initiative, made possible through the collaborative efforts of SRM Institute of Hotel Management and Unnat Bharat Abhiyan SRMIST, introduced a milk chiller, paneer-making machine, and cream separator on November 2, 2023, coinciding with the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (ICSDD) with a focus on SDG 1 (No Poverty).

The inauguration ceremony was officiated by Dr. Antony Ashok Kumar, Director SRM-IHM, and Deputy Registrar. In his inaugural address, he underscored the significance of creating self-sustainable business opportunities for rural communities, emphasizing their role in boosting the rural economy and enhancing overall quality of life.

Dr. V. Thirumurugan, Nodal Officer (UBA-SRMIST) and Associate Director (CL), addressed the gathering, providing insights into UBA's vision for the overall development of the 12 adopted villages. He expressed gratitude to coordinators and village administrators for their sincere efforts in making the establishment of the milk processing unit a reality.

Dr. T. Deepa elaborated on the functionality of the newly installed equipment, demonstrating the processing of 10 liters of milk into paneer on the spot. She acknowledged the crucial support received from village administrators and SRMIST management, tracing back to the 2021 workshop on dairy processing and cattle management.

The event was presided over by Mr. T. Selvaraj, Director, SIRD, Chennai, who commended SRMIST's initiative in establishing this micro-enterprise for rural communities. He urged the local residents to seize this opportunity for growth and transformation, envisioning the creation of a Milk Society similar to the success story of AMUL in Gujarat. Mr. Selvaraj assured ongoing support from his office for similar initiatives in other villages adopted under UBA-SRMIST, expressing gratitude to SRMIST for its meaningful societal contribution.

Mr. Sambasivam, the founder of Aram Seivom Trust, extended thanks for SRMIST's consistent support over the past 20 years. He introduced the members of the Self-Help Group responsible for managing the milk processing enterprise, foreseeing its evolution into a cluster of businesses through collaboration with government schemes and NGOs. Ms. Girija, the manager of his trust, was introduced as a successful entrepreneur with contributions to online cosmetics business and free tailoring classes.

The function was graced by Mrs. Manjula Karthikeyan, Vice President of Nattarsanpattu. All delegates were felicitated during the ceremony, and the vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. B. Samuel Jacob, UBA-Village Coordinator (SRMIST). The event's seamless coordination was ensured by Mrs. J. Vinodha Evangeline along with students from SRM-IHM, supported by the conveners.

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