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Gurugram, November 7, 2023: The Indian Steel Association (ISA) today conferred its ‘Wings of Steel’ award to Jindal Stainless’ first woman overhead crane operator, Ms Minu Mohanta under the ‘Gender and Diversity’ category. Steel Secretary, Mr Nagendra Nath Sinha, presented her the award for “perseverance and steely resolve” in overcoming challenging circumstances and for being an inspiration for many. She was born to a mason father, married at the age of 14 and widowed at 25.
She was also conferred the Jury’s Special Award for showing determination and resilience in the face of adversity at the 4 th edition of the ISA‘s Steel Conclave held in New Delhi.
Ms Mohanta, started working as a stone crusher in a quarry for six years before joining Jindal Stainless — India’s largest stainless steel manufacturer — as part of its housekeeping team for the steel melting shop in 2011. Driven by her inquisitiveness and a desire to learn machine operation, she quickly adapted to managing engine-powered cleaning vehicles.
She took inspiration from her supervisor and fellow women colleague sand expressed her interest in tackling one of the most demanding plant operations, the management of overhead cranes within the plant, which was traditionally dominated by men. Remarkably, she mastered the skill of operating overhead cranes in just one month and dedicated the subsequent months to perfecting it, shattering gender stereotypes.
On receiving the award, Ms Mohanta said, “This is a big day for me…. I just want to say that there is no alternative for women but to be brave. I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given at Jindal Stainless and I am committed to creating an army of women who choose courage over fear.”
Managing Director, Jindal Stainless, Mr Abhyuday Jindal, said, “It fills me with immense pride that ISA has identified the resilience and courage that Minu exhibits. Hers is a story of enormous strength and unparalleled dedication towards her work. At Jindal Stainless, we aim to encourage more women to sign up for such challenging tasks, defy conventional norms and serve as shining example of inspiration for others.”
Ms Mohanta has a daughter and a son in their 20s and married. Currently, she lives with her in-laws and son. She provides training to other women at the plant and encourages them to opt for jobs that have traditionally been male-dominated.
The ISA has emerged as a platform for Indian iron and steel industry that facilitates issues, concerns and challenges common to its members with government and other stakeholders within and outside India.
India’s leading stainless steel manufacturer, Jindal Stainless, has an annual turnover of INR 35,700 crore (US $4.30 billion) in FY23, and is ramping up its facilities to reach 3 million tonnes of annual melt capacity in FY24. It has two stainless steel manufacturing facilities in India, in the states of Odisha and Haryana. Jindal Stainless has a worldwide network in 15 countries and one service centre in Spain. In India, there are 10 sales offices and six service centres. The company’s product range includes stainless steel slabs, blooms, coils, plates, sheets, precision strips, blade steel and coin blanks.
Integrated operations have given Jindal Stainless the edge in cost competitiveness and operational efficiency, making it one of the world’s top five stainless steel players (ex-China). Founded in 1970, Jindal Stainless continues to be inspired by a vision for innovation and enriching lives and is committed to social responsibility. The company boasts an excellent workforce, value-driven business operations, customer centricity and the best safety practices in the industry.
JSL remains committed to a greener, sustainable future, fuelled by environmental responsibility. The company manufactures stainless steel using scrap in an electric arc furnace, the least greenhouse gas emission route since it enables 100% recyclability with no reduction in quality, thereby achieving a circular economy. The company aims to reduce carbon emission intensity by 50% until FY 2035 (from FY 2022 baseline levels of 1.91 tonnes CO2/tonnes of crude steel) and achieve Net Zero by 2050.