To help raise worldwide awareness of the need for inclusion of People With Disabilities, Synergy collaborated with the India Inclusion Foundation to organise an ‘Inclusive Walkathon’ in Chennai. The idea came up in discussions between Capt. Unni and the founder and CEO of the India Inclusion Foundation.
The brand ambassador was war veteran and India’s very own Blade Runner, retired Major D. P. Singh. Any form of exclusion means disconnection from social relations, and disabled people and their families often face isolation and ostracism from the wider society, with multiple barriers hindering amalgamation into the mainstream. Although about one in ten among the population has a disability, there is still an ‘embarrassment factor’, usually meaning self-consciousness and awkwardness in the presence of a disabled person.
The Inclusive Walkathon initiative was the first of its kind, and everyone, irrespective of disability, could take part in a 3K or 5K walk. The unique feature, though, was the ‘Buddy Walk’, which required those with no disability either to walk with someone who has one or to blindfold a partner and walk half the distance and then swap places.
Many told inspiring stories about the hardships they had faced, the problems they had overcome and what inspired them in never giving up. They also shared several examples of global companies that no longer discriminate, thus providing equal opportunities so disability does not get in their way.
We thank all the team members who helped make this a huge success. Naming just a few, we especially thank Capt. Ravi Kohli and Johnson Leonard for organising the event and ensuring that the participants all had snacks and drinks afterwards, Capt. Venkat from our Training Department for coordinating the event and Anand C.J. for volunteering as official photographer.