As part of the ThumsUp Being Human VEER campaign, some special People with Disabilities (VEERs) who have realized their potential got the opportunity to meet the Tollywood Star, Mahesh Babu. Five VEER’S who have excelled in their fields in spite of their disabilities inspired the film star and the interaction was an emotional and enlightening experience for both the VEER’s and for Mahesh Babu.
In the first year of the campaign, over 1000 VEERs have received training powered by American India Foundation (AIF) and implementation partners, of which 573 have been employed with the help of 147 employers. The 127 VEERs employed in Hyderabad with the intervention of implementation partner, ACE Social Foundation, is a reflection of ThumsUp’s commitment to success for the disabled in Season-2 of their program. Each of the VEERs present has overcome their shortcomings and excelled exceptionally in their fields through the training that has been provided to them via this initiative. Despite the obstacles they face in life, they have progressed significantly from when they first enrolled in this program undertaken by AIF.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahesh Babu, said, “Despite their disabilities, the VEERS displayed a true ‘Toofani’ spirit and have done exceptionally well for themselves in their respective areas of interest. This initiative undertaken by ThumsUp is a great opportunity for people with disabilities to move forward and strive towards realizing their full potential. After having met these five VEERS I am sure that there are many others like them that have received similar training and are working hard towards success. It is individuals like this that embody the famous saying ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ and are an example from which all of us should learn.”
Vishal Khetani, Zonal Vice President, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages stated that “The philosophy of being passionate and strong is something that drives this program. Through VEER, we want to encourage all the differently abled to unleash their potential, be strong and overcome the barriers they face. We are happy with the achievements of the program in its first year at Hyderabad and are excited about the milestones being set for the second phase. We have worked with some great partners like Being Human – The Salman Khan Foundation and AIF and are extremely delighted to now have such eminent partners on board. I congratulate all the VEERs who have overcome their limitation and hope they will inspire many more.”
“Campaign VEER has proved to us that the opportunity of securing roles across the economy is not just an aspiration for PwDs, it is a reality. Going forward, we at AIF remain committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India by providing equal opportunity and access to employment for persons with disabilities, based on a simple belief-it is one’s ability, not disability, which defines any individual. The opportunity to meet an eminent personality, Mahesh Babu, is a huge motivation for our VEERs”, said M.A. Ravi Kumar, CEO of AIF.
Campaign VEER aims to address challenges such as inclusive education and employment, skill training and development, and advocating for disabled-friendly technology. With the support of AIF, the campaign is working at imparting vocational training to these individuals and ascertains their requirements so that they can be made job-ready.