UNLEASHING THE INNER POTENTIAL OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY

  • Campaign “VEER” launched at a special film screening in Mumbai today, by superstar Salman Khan and Debabrata Mukherjee, VP-Marketing & Commercial, Coca-Cola India.
  • Campaign launched by Thums Up, Being Human, CNN-IBN in association with American India Foundation who have come on board as implementation partners.
  • Initiative to showcase success stories of Persons with Disabilities and reach out to more than 1000 PwDs with skill training and employment opportunities.
  • VEER will be telecast on CNN-IBN on Saturday, 25th January at 2:00pm, 10:30pm (R) and Sunday, 26th January at 12:00noon and 6:00pm (R)
  • VEER will also be telecast on IBN7 on Saturday 25th January at 1:00pm and Sunday, 26th January at 6:00pm (R)

Mumbai, 24th January 2014: 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 Being Human, CNN-IBN 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

About Coca-Cola and Citizenship

The Coca-Cola Company has always placed high value on good citizenship. At the heart of business is a mission statement called the Coca-Cola Promise — “The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone that it touches.” This basic proposition means that the company’s business should refresh the markets, protect, preserve and enhance the environment and strengthen the community. Coca-Cola India provides extensive support for community programs across the country, with a focus on education, health and water conservation. For further information on Company’s India operations and its products, please visit www.coca-colaindia.com

ABOUT TV18

The Network18 Group is a media and entertainment company with interests in television, internet, films, e-commerce, magazines, mobile content and allied businesses. Through its subsidiary ‘TV18 Broadcast Ltd.’ [BSE: 532800, NSE: TV18BRDCST], the group operates news channels – CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz, CNBC-TV18 Prime HD, CNN-IBN, IBN7 and IBN-Lokmat (a Marathi regional news channel in partnership with the Lokmat group). TV18 also operates a joint venture with Viacom, called Viacom18, which houses a portfolio of popular entertainment channels – Colors, Colors HD, MTV, SONIC, Comedy Central, VH1, Nick. Nick Jr. and Nick Teen – and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the group’s filmed entertainment business. TV18 has also forayed into the Indian factual entertainment space through A+E Networks | TV18 (a joint venture between A+E Networks and TV18 Broadcast) and operates HistoryTV18. TV18 and Viacom18 have also formed a strategic joint venture called IndiaCast, a multi-platform ‘content asset monetization’ entity mandated to drive domestic and international channels distribution, placement services and content syndication for the bouquet of channels from TV18, Viacom18 and other broadcasters. For more information, please log on to www.network18online.com

About AIF

About AIF the American India Foundation (AIF) has been catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India, since 2001. Founded at the initiative of then President Bill Clinton, AIF has impacted the lives of more than 1.9 million of India’s poor through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Learn more at www.aif.org