Samarth: Hyundai Launches An Initiative For People with Disabilities, In Partnership With NDTV

Through Samarth, Hyundai and NDTV aim to help create a sensitised society towards People with Disabilities (PwDs)

Written By: | Edited By: | December 21, 2023

New Delhi: To promote inclusivity, create awareness and enhance the quality of life for People with Disabilities (PwDs), Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) in partnership with NDTV, launched an initiative – Samarth, on December 7. The initiative is a step towards creating a more aware and inclusive society for PwDs and the initiative chronicles the capability of every single human that adds to the progress of humanity.

Through Samarth, Hyundai and NDTV aim to help create a sensitised society towards People with Disabilities (PwDs). With this initiative, the company will make its websites, dealerships, and Workshops disabled friendly,Wheelchair accessible, ensuring equal access for all.

Also Read: Why Accessibility Remains A Roadblock For People With Disabilities

The 4-hour telethon was joined by India’s six para-athletes, who have bagged medals for the country, Union and state ministers, disability rights advocates, and People with Disabilities, who have made a difference to the society in their respective fields, among others.

Samarth: Hyundai Launches An Initiative For People with Disabilities, In Partnership With NDTV

“Perception of disability is an important aspect for Hyundai,” said Tarun Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

During the launch of the initiative, Tarun Garg, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) discussed what mobility truly means for the company and its vision of ‘Progress for Humanity.’

“Perception of disability is an important aspect, for the wellbeing of People with Disabilities (PwDs) and the moral compass of the society. We, at Hyundai, are working on building a society with a positive and sensitive attitude towards disability to empower the PwDs. With NDTV, we want to reach out to the larger audience with the initiative.”

Speaking at the launch of the new Initiative, Sanjay Pugalia, Director, NDTV Ltd. and CEO and Editor-in-Chief, AMG Media Network said,

 “NDTV is proud to partner with this initiative dedicated to fostering inclusivity, reshaping perceptions, and, and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. We commit to building a more aware and inclusive society for the differently abled, emphasising abilities over disabilities.”

Accessibility: An Obstacle For People with Disabilities

Samarth: Hyundai Launches An Initiative For People with Disabilities, In Partnership With NDTV

Dr Singh highlighted the lapses in accessing the essential services for people with disabilities.

Joining the first session of the event, Dr Satendra Singh, Professor of Physiology at University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi & Co-chair, International Council for Disability Inclusion in MedEd, discussed societal perceptions about PwDs and how it leads to discrimination of multiple kinds.

Dr Satendra said that people may be born with or develop disabilities during their lifetime, but they are disabled every day by society – by attitudes and perceptions that don’t think of them as equal, by spaces that don’t account for them, by infrastructure that often acts as a barrier, and by a lack of consideration of the complex diversity of persons with disabilities and their very specific needs.

The Professor also highlighted the lack of accessibility to essential services.

“Essential services like post offices, banks, cricket stadiums, or cinema halls, accessibility is a huge barrier for PwDs. These are the first places that should be accessible to all, but unfortunately, that is not the case.”

Also Read: Sheetal Devi, World’s First Armless Archer Shares Her Inspiration

Samarth: Hyundai Launches An Initiative For People with Disabilities, In Partnership With NDTV

Ms Modi said that the railway sector needs an upgrade to make it more inclusive for people with disabilities.

Joining the panel discussion in the first session was Virali Modi, India first wheelchair model and Founder, #MyTrainToo, who highlighted the lack of inclusive transportation in the railway sector for People with Disabilities (PwDs). Ms Modi said that many People with Disabilities can’t afford to travel by plane or car, but only by trains. She said,

“Why aren’t they accessible to us and why are we subjected to such kind of scrutiny? We are not luggage or just pieces of flesh. We have our dignity and integrity.”

At the launch of the initiative Samarth by Hyundai, Disability Rights Advocate and Founder of a mobile blind school, Jyothirgamaya Foundation, Tiffany Brar, discussed some of the early interventions required for women and children with disabilities, such as allocating resource teachers in the government schools, according to the specific needs of the children instead of a clustered model. For women with locomotive disability, autism, etc, there should be exclusive classes on reproductive health and menstrual hygiene, Ms Brar said.

Samarth: Hyundai Launches An Initiative For People with Disabilities, In Partnership With NDTV

Ms Brar founded the Jyotirgamya foundation in 2015, and it is actively involved in the empowerment of people with visual impairment.

Tiffany Brar’s Jyothirgamaya Foundation, works towards empowering the blind in all spheres of life.

Government Interventions For PwDs

Dr Satendra Singh shifted the focus towards the interventions required by the central and state governments for making an inclusive society for PwDs truly, and it can start by the government involving the PwDs in the decision making process that impacts them. Dr Singh said,

“The current policies focus only on locomotor disability. What about 21 other disabilities, deaf blindness, neuro atypical, psychosocial disabilities? It becomes imperative for PwDs to be included in the policy making process.”

He added,

“Nothing about us, without us.”

Highlighting the government initiatives for PwDs, Aditi Tatkare, Women And Children Development Minister, Maharashtra, discussed the changes brought in the lives of People with Disabilities (PwDs) after the establishment of a Divyang department by the Maharashtra government. It is the first state to set up a dedicated department for PwDs, and has been allocated one of the highest budgets, Minister Tatkare informed. The minister said,

“The state government is concentrating on introducing and implementing schemes and making them accessible for PwDs.”

Also Read: Khelo India Para Games: Why Nothing Is Impossible For Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegic Jeetu Kanwar 

Joining the launch event, Smriti Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, highlighted that the Ministry, would tap close to 14 lakh Anganwadis, to help track and help children with disabilities in the 0-6 years age group. Talking about the significance of the initiative, the Union Minister said,

“With the early identification, there is a multiplier effect – early identification with the local
community, local community, Anganwadi and ASHA workers and the parents of the children, as to what is the challenge that the child faces and what is the support system currently available, the alternatives and the long-term needs of the child academically.”

Talking about the job opportunities for PwDs at the launch of the initiative, Dr Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment highlighted that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 increased reservations for the disabled in government jobs, government recognised schools and also widened the categories identified as disability from seven to 21 categories.

He also said that the New Education Policy (NEP) ensures that textbooks for classes 1 to 6 are made available in Indian Sign Language. The Minister further talked about the various initiatives being undertaken under the Accessible India campaign to make government offices, airports, railway stations and other public spaces more accessible.

Beyond Inspiration: Sports For Empowerment Of People With Disabilities

The event witnessed the presence of six para athletes, who have been facilitated by Wheeling Happiness Foundation and supported by Hyundai in their training and nourishment needs. The six select para athletes include world’s first armless Para Archer Sheetal Devi, Para Canoer Prachi Yadav, Para Athlete (Javelin and Shot Put) Abhishek Chamoli, Discus Throw champion Yogesh Kathunia, Para-shooter Simran Sharma, and Lakshmi Jadala, an intellectually challenged Lawn Tennis player.

Each player shared their journey of triumph and becoming a sportsperson. They also shared the things that have helped them push their limits to become the best versions of themselves, be it music, poetry or the unwavering support of their families and coaches.

Joining the launch of the initiative Samarth, Dr Mahantesh GK, Founder Managing Trustee, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled talked about the work done by the trust for the visually impaired individuals to pursue cricket as a professional sport. He also discussed how the trust intends to accelerate their efforts by collaborating with Hyundai.

“We intend to train and promote grass root level men and women blind cricketers for national and international level competitions. Cricket is not just a sport, it builds competitive qualities among visually impaired persons.”

Samarth: Hyundai Launches An Initiative For People with Disabilities, In Partnership With NDTV

Union ministers including Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari and Hardeep Singh Puri joined the launch of the initiative Samarth by Hyundai, in partnership with NDTV.

Other ministers who joined the event included, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh, and Brajesh Patel, Deputy Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh.

Padma Shri Dr. Deepa Malik, President Paralympic Committee of India, and Arman Ali, the Executive Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), were also present at the launch of the initiative.

Also Read: Odisha: Smart Braille Classroom To Be Set Up In School For Blind At Burla 

About Go Sports Foundation

GoSports Foundation is a non-profit venture working towards the development of some of India’s top talents in Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, through our athlete scholarships and knowledge building programmes. We are joined by former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid and All England Badminton Champion Pullela Gopichand on our Board of Advisors as well as the former physiotherapist of the Indian Cricket Team John Gloster as our Head of Sports Science.

About Hyundai Motor India Ltd

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company (HMC). HMIL is India’s first smart mobility solutions provider and the number one car exporter since its inception in India.

About The Initiative

Samarth by Hyundai in partnership with NDTV, is an initiative that seeks to promote inclusivity, change perceptions, and enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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