MUMBAI: Living up to its toofani message of unleashing the potential within, India’s most iconic brand Thums Up has come together with brand ambassador Salman Khan’s Being Human Foundation and CNN-IBN to launch Campaign VEER – Unleashing the Inner Potential of Persons with Disabilities. With the American India Foundation (AIF) coming on board as Implementation Partners, VEER is set to be a two-month long media campaign showcasing case examples of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) who have succeeded in their endeavors on the strength of their self belief, despite environmental and attitudinal barriers.
The initiative aims to reach out to more than 1000 PwDs with skill training and employment opportunities and will also raise advocacy on issues revolving around inclusiveness, employability of PwDs and workplace accessibility. In its first phase, this special campaign aims to collect funds to train and economically empower at least 1,000 PwDs.
Speaking about the campaign, Salman Khan, Founder of Being Human and Face of Campaign VEER said, “Together with Thums Up, Being Human has launched Veer, a campaign that recognizes the potential of differently abled individuals and provides them with a level playing field. We are thankful to CNN-IBN and AIF for their support".
Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN, IBN7 and IBN-Lokmat, said, “We at IBN Network firmly believe that journalism has to be truly inclusive. As part of this commitment, we are very proud to announce VEER in association with Thums up, American India Foundation and Being Human.”
VEER will address challenges such as inclusive education and employment, skill training and development, and advocating for disabled-friendly technology. Towards this, several panel discussions are set to be held with participation from the who’s who from government, corporate, NGOs, policy makers/ think tanks and donors of the campaign to discuss on the way forward to empower the ‘specially-abled’ of the country. Key takeaways from these discussions would be compiled into a ‘Vision Document’ and presented to the government.
AIF will impart vocational training to these individuals and ascertain their requirements so that they can be made job-ready. As outlined by AIF, INR 7,500 is all it takes to train an individual with disability to make him/her employable.
Speaking about the initiative, Debabrata Mukherjee, VP-Marketing & Commercial, Coca-Cola India said, “Thums Up as a brand believes that everybody has the potential within, it's just that one needs to nudge himself and take the leap of faith that can change his reality. In continuation with the same belief, through the campaign VEER, we would like to offer specially abled persons a platform to unleash their own potential. We are very glad that partners like CNN-IBN, Being Human and American India Foundation have joined hands and we hope that together we will be able to make a positive difference”
Hemanth Paul, Country Director, AIF, said, “Irrespective of whether you are a person with disability or not, economic independence is a critical thing for everyone. We need to mould persons with disability from being a liability to an asset. At the American India Foundation, we have been working on the whole livelihood space for the last eight years to make such people financially independent.”
The launch episode of VEER will introduce the viewers to the idea behind starting this campaign and reveal how every Indian can get involved. On the show, eminent voices such as disability rights activist Javed Habibi; actor-activist Rahul Bose; Deepak Jolly, VP Communication & Public Affairs at Coca-Cola; Hemanth Paul, Country Director, AIF; para table-tennis champion Suvarna Raj; and Pankaj Dubey, MD, Polaris India, will discuss the need for a campaign like VEER.
The series with four episodes will run in conjunction with digital platforms. A dedicated call centre- 0120-4019191, a website - www.theveer.in, and a mobile app – VEER has been set up to enable people to make contributions. One can also send an SMS, ‘VEER’ to 51818 to know more about the initiative and make individual donations.
Don’t forget to watch the special series on
Saturday, 25th January at 2:00pm and 10:30pm (R), Sunday, 26th January at 12:00noon and 6:00pm (R) on CNN-IBN and Saturday 25th January at 1:00pm and Sunday, 26th January at 6:00pm (R) on IBN7