Chennai

Start-up incubated at IIT-M uses CSR funds to help persons with disabilities

A view of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras) in Chennai   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

A start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has helped provide, through CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds, wheelchairs to 163 persons with disabilities.

The start-up NeoMotion, received funds under three corporate social responsibility projects, which it used to develop customised wheelchairs. Neomotion aims to impact 1 lakh lives annually by 2025. It has proposed to impact the lives of 1,000 beneficiaries with a total support of ₹10 crore in the next year.

The institute developed Neobolt, the country’s first indigenous motorised wheelchair. NeoMotion has also launched it commercially besides a personalised wheelchair designed to enhance health and lifestyle of the disabled.

Neobolt is a battery-powered clip-on device for the wheelchair that makes it easier to use than the conventional hand-powered tri-cycles. NeoMotion has donated 29 motorised outdoor mobility attachments and 160 Neofly wheelchairs.

NeoMotion’s chief executive officer, Swostik Sourav Dash, said the beneficiaries are finding themselves to be more productive. They are able to carry on their daily activities such as going to the market, travelling for their jobs and working long hours sitting on the wheelchair.

The IIT Madras alumnus said, “A mobility device should empower a user to get educated and employed. We are working on a project, Livelihood on Wheels, where Neobolt can be a tool to get employment...which will help them earn a livelihood.”

According to him the beneficiary will deposit a percentage of the salary earned in a corpus to fund the next set of Neobolts for the next set of beneficiaries. For this NeoMotion is partnering with CSR bodies, non-governmental organisations that offer vocational training “and potential employers who can employ people with locomotive disability and promote diversity and inclusion in the process,” he said.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 12:00:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/start-up-incubated-at-iit-m-uses-csr-funds-to-help-persons-with-disabilities/article37786344.ece

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