Three independent CSR projects have enabled the IIT Madras-incubated Start-up NeoMotion to provide customized wheelchairs to 163 differently-abled persons. NeoMotion aims to impact one lakh lives every year by 2025.
The plan is to impact 1000 Lives with a total CSR Support of Rs 10 Crore for 1,000 NeoBolt and NeoFly units in the next 12 Months. A video explaining the project can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5wN6j1b3AM&t=43s
IIT Madras developed India’s first indigenous motorized wheelchair vehicle called ‘NeoBolt.’ NeoMotion has commercially launched ‘NeoBolt’ and ‘NeoFly,’ a personalized wheelchair designed to enhance health and lifestyle of differently abled persons
Wheelchairs in India have been provided via donations. However, important parameters such as user seating comfort, postural factors, compactness are ignored and oversized one-size-fits-all wheelchairs are provided to all beneficiaries. As a result, even though thousands of wheelchairs are provided to as many beneficiaries, the number of lives positively impacted are much lower.
To solve this issue, these CSR projects have taken a different approach by identifying and assessing the beneficiaries first before providing the wheelchairs. Beneficiaries are selected on the basis of Socio-Economic status, Need assessment, Diagnosis, and Age, among other criteria. Moreover, the NeoBolt being a battery powered clip-on device for the wheelchair is easier and convenient to use than the traditional donated hand powered Tri-cycles, allowing users to travel farther and quicker.
Cumulatively, A total of 29 NeoBolt motorized outdoor mobility attachments and 160 NeoFly wheelchairs have been donated to 163 Beneficiaries through three independent CSR projects, amounting to a total CSR funding of Rs. 75 Lakh
The user measurements and Medical assessments are conducted remotely via video call with every wheelchair customized according to the beneficiary’s measurements and medical assessment. This is necessary since the wheelchair is like a part of the body and unless personalized according to the user, it could lead to several side effects such as back pain, shoulder pain.
Sharing the current status of this project, Mr. Swostik Sourav Dash, Chief Executive Officer, NeoMotion, said, “The beneficiaries find the NeoFly and NeoBolt as a complete indoor and outdoor solution. They are finding themselves being more productive, with respect to daily activities like going to the market, travelling for their job and working long hours sitting on the wheelchair, which they could not achieve with the traditional wheelchairs.”
Further, Mr. Swostik Sourav Dash, also an 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 – deliver newspapers, milk, food items and other last-mile delivery jobs, which will help them earn a livelihood. The project model incorporates a percentage of the salary earned to be deposited in a corpus to fund the next set of NeoBolts for the next set of beneficiaries. We are partnering with CSR bodies, NGOs in the vocation training space and potential employers who can employ people with locomotive disability and promote diversity and inclusion in the process.”
One of the beneficiaries of the CSR Projects is Ms. Laxmi Priya (39) from Puducherry. Not one to let a Spinal Cord Injury stop her from living life to the fullest, Ms. Laxmi Priya – is a cashier at a hotel. She was dependent on her husband for travelling to work. Now with NeoBolt, she not only travels to work independently, she travels around the city leisurely, visits market and temples. At times, she delivers food from the hotel around the neighbourhood and loves interacting with people.
Mr. Muniswamy (46) from Bangalore was affected by polio. His enthusiasm and drive to see the betterment of the lives of persons with disabilities has led him to become a program manager at proVision Asia. His daily commute of about 5 kms from his home to his office had not changed in years. He still was propelling himself to work on a wheelchair which had become difficult as he grew older
The Neobolt along with the NeoFly wheelchair – which is custom made just for him, was a game-changer. The ease in the daily commute provided by the Neobolt and the NeoFly has enabled him to have a much more productive day that will in turn impact many other lives with disabilities.
Mr. Vikas (23) from Jharkhand suffered from Spinal Cord Injury. Teaching is something that occupies most of his time, educating primary school children on subjects such as Environmental Science and Hindi. Commuting to this tuition centre was something that Vikas struggled with, as he could propel himself only to a certain distance every day. NeoBolt helps him to easily go to his tuition centre, saving him time and energy. Getting the NeoBolt has also opened possibilities of him exploring his town with his friends thereby significantly increasing his quality of life.