8th December, 2016 marked a special day for Coca-Cola India as the company marked the successful completion of the month long Thums Up Veer Kashmir to Kanyakumari mission. The celebration got even more special as it coincided with the 10th anniversary celebration of the adoption of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), this week.
The Veer K2K Journey commenced in November, 2016 with an objective to make India accessible and sensitize fellow Indians about the challenges and requirements of People with Disabilities (PWDs). In keeping with its belief that PWDs only need an opportunity and the right platform to express themselves, Coca-Cola India partnered with Boniface Prabhu – Padam Shri awardee and a world champion quadriplegic athlete – to conduct the Thums Up VEER Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K) road expedition. This expedition covered 5,430 kms, more than 50 events to create awareness and sensitize people to the cause of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). It trained more than 5,000 people in basic sign language skills and spent more than 55 hours canvassing and advocating for the rights of PWDs.
Earlier in the year, Coca-Cola India, jointly with Infosys Founder Shri N R Narayanmurthy had petitioned the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to make sign language, an official language of the country. The Company had also dedicated the 2016 edition of the eponymous Limca Book of Records to the cause of PWDs, recognizing their feats and achievements. Coca-Cola India in partnership with AIF and Hans Foundation, already runs the VEER program, which trains PWDs in various skills to make them employable. This program has already trained 3,000 PWDs.