Ubaid Zargar

Hyundai Motor India debuts ‘Samarth’, sheds light on disability inclusion

With SRK being the face of the campaign, the brand is partnering with GoSports and Samarthanam Trust.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) has embarked on a journey towards fostering inclusivity and empowerment through its newly introduced Samarth initiative. With this campaign, featuring brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, HMIL has positioned itself as India's inaugural automobile company to unfurl a mass-scale inclusive mobility project, marking a stride towards a more sensitised society for people with disabilities.

In a country where over 26.8 million individuals grapple with diverse abilities, the imperative for heightened awareness and understanding cannot be overstated. Hyundai's Samarth initiative seeks to unravel the potential of mobility as a catalyst for creating an inclusive and progressive world.

Virat Khullar, group head marketing, Hyundai India, spoke to afaqs! at the initiative’s launch event. He pointed out that the purpose-led initiative is an outcome of much deliberation and research, leading to a compelling cause to champion for Hyundai. 

He said, “After consulting our multiple stakeholders and looking through all the relevant data, we landed upon the idea that creating inclusivity for disabled people in India can be one of the initiatives Hyundai can lead in India. This is also because in this endeavour to provide inclusivity to disabled people, the basic premise is to provide them accessibility for movement, which aligns with our vision for progress for humanity.”

Speaking on bringing actor Shah Rukh Khan on board for the initiative, Khullar opined, “Shah Rukh has been our corporate brand ambassador for more than 25 years. A lot of our corporate initiatives and key events see his presence. He is part of the creatives, films and was also the part of the launch event.”

The brand is also partnering with NDTV to bring in union and state ministers across the country, with the aim of launching a survey that covers more than 20 cities. “This is just a start. We have figured out what we want to do till September 2024, but this is still just year one,” Khullar added. 

Speaking at the launch of the new Initiative, Shah Rukh Khan, said, “Hyundai Motor India Foundation (HMIF), the  corporate social responsibility arm of Hyundai Motor India, in partnership with GoSports Foundation, a 15-year-old national award-winning foundation, are starting an exclusive programme to provide holistic support to para-athletes in India towards the quest for Paralympics. 

The programme will support a mix of emerging and elite athletes in both team events and individual sports to promote equity for the community of people-with-disabilities, foster a culture of innovation, upskill through vocational education, and positively impact the para-sports ecosystem to inspire the nation."

Furthermore, in collaboration with Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, HMIF is set to extend support to differently-abled individuals through the provision of assistive devices. In a groundbreaking move, a unique program leveraging blind cricket as a platform is poised to unfold, targeting the physical and social development of visually impaired individuals in India. Through an array of training camps and international bilateral series, HMIF envisions affording national Blind cricket teams substantial platforms to showcase their prodigious talents.

Hyundai has also pledged changes in its internal functionalities. Embracing the ethos of Progress for Humanity, The campaign introduces three pledges that the brand has undertaken in a bid to become more inclusive of disabled individuals. As per their website, the three pledges include making Hyundai’s website convenient for individuals with disability, its dealerships and service centres friendly for people with disabilities, and its cars more accommodating of disabilities.

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