Pune: Bajaj Finserv Ltd., one of India’s leading and diversified financial services groups, has committed support to differently-abled persons by providing hi-tech mobility solutions that enable them to integrate into mainstream society.
The initiative ‘Accessibility & Freedom’ is part of Bajaj Finserv’s social responsibility programme, aimed at driving equitable and inclusive opportunities for children and youth. It is being funded and driven through its subsidiary, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, in partnership with Round Table India, a non-profit working to improve the lives of differently-abled persons.
The initiative was launched at an event in Pune where 40 differently-abled persons identified by Round Table India were provided hi-tech mobility devices that convert a wheelchair into a roadworthy vehicle. The device is an indigenous innovation by NeoMotion, a start-up from R2D2 of IIT Madras. It comprises NeoFly, a compact, personalised wheelchair designed to best fit a user’s health and lifestyle, and NeoBolt, a hi-tech motorised add-on that transitions it seamlessly into an outdoor mobility device.
The first recipients of the solution were largely individuals with quadriplegia, including ex-servicemen, para-athletes, and homemakers. Under the initiative, 200 hi-tech mobility solutions will be provided by Bajaj Finserv to recipients across India. Present at the event were Shefali Bajaj, Chairperson, CSR Steering Committee, Bajaj Finserv; Ajay Sathe, Group CSR Head, Bajaj Finserv; Tapan Singhel, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, and senior officials of Round Table India and NeoMotion.
Shefali Bajaj, Chairperson of the CSR Steering Committee, Bajaj Finserv, said, “The initiative is life-transformative for the differently-abled. It ties in with our efforts to advance inclusion among children and youth by giving them equal access to resources, health, education, and opportunities. The hi-tech device gives recipients improved access, a feeling of freedom and goes a long way towards integrating them into mainstream society. It is heart-warming to see the smiles on recipients faces when they receive the devices. For us, it’s deeply satisfying to be able to make a tangible impact on people’s lives.”
Tapan Singhel, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, said, “As a Group, Bajaj Finserv has always believed in giving back to society and making a positive impact on communities. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance resonates with the Group’s philosophy and strives to take measures that add value to the lives of our citizens. Many fellow Indians who use wheelchairs face numerous challenges in their routine lives, restricting their career opportunities and thus hampering them economically. As part of this initiative, we have donated 200 hi-tech mobility solutions to suit users’ health and lifestyle needs, empowering them to move around with much ease. We endeavour to make a difference in society and contribute to the well-being of the citizens of this country so that they can live a life of dignity.”
Ajay Sathe, Group CSR Head, Bajaj Finserv, said, “The initiative illustrates how technology can be leveraged for social impact. The hi-tech mobility solutions improve access for differently-abled persons, enabling them to pursue an active liberated lifestyle. With the increased availability of these devices, the macro socio-economic impact can be significant. We are happy to associate with Round Table India. They have done commendable work in identifying the recipients and getting this initiative off to a great start.”
India has approximately three crore differently-abled persons facing mobility challenges and heavily dependent on a support ecosystem for their fundamental necessities. Restricted mobility impacts their ability to move outdoors, earn livelihoods and grow economically.
The hi-tech mobility solutions provided by Bajaj Finserv are compact wheelchairs customised to an individual’s posture and energy and are fitted with a motor-powered clip-on device that converts the wheelchair into a safe, roadworthy vehicle. It eliminates the need to transfer the person into other vehicles and can be independently attached by the user within seconds.
The powered wheelchair has a maximum speed of 25 kmph and can travel up to 25 km per charge. The solution has been compatible with rugged conditions to enhance its utility. Recipients can access the outdoors with the solution, pursue an active liberated lifestyle, be independent and explore a world of opportunities, including education and employment.