Ashok Leyland and Apollo Tyres collaborate for driver health initiatives: In a unique first of its kind corporate partnership, Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in India has teamed up with leading tyre manufacturer, Apollo Tyres to provide healthcare facility to the trucking community in Namakkal, a prominent transhipment hub in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The Healthcare Centre at Ashok Leyland’s Driver Training Institute at Namakkal, will be run by Apollo Tyres, and was inaugurated today by Mr. Anuj Kathuria, Chief Operating Officer; and Mr. Balachandar NV, President – HR, Communication and CSR, Ashok Leyland; along with Mr. Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa; and Mr. Sunam Sarkar, President and Chief Business Officer, Apollo Tyres.
Servicing a daily floating population of more than 12,500 truckers, and the allied community, the primary aim of the Healthcare Centre would be awareness generation on HIV-AIDS and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among truckers, and the local community. The centre will be staffed by a qualified doctor, a counsellor, and paramedics, apart from outreach workers and a network of peer educators appointed over a period of time. This team will work together towards bringing down the instance of STIs, and thereby, reducing the vulnerability of the population of contracting HIV, apart from offering a gamut of other health care service for vision care, diabetes, hypertension, and Tuberculosis. The two companies will be working together to establish more such healthcare centres in large transhipment hubs.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Balachander NV, President – HR, Communication and CSR, Ashok Leyland, said, “Ashok Leyland has always been at the forefront to provide the best possible support to the driver community. As a profession, commercial vehicle driving is a demanding job, owing to long drives, month after month. The high level of concentration required for driving, mostly results in stress and strain on the driver. These working conditions, coupled with negligence towards regular care, often leads to various health problems. To address this issue, we have collaborated with Apollo Tyres to offer the best medical support to an important stakeholder of ours.”
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Sunam Sarkar, President and Chief Business Officer, Apollo Tyres said, “We are delighted to join hands with Ashok Leyland to extend this facility at Namakkal. Ashok Leyland is a fellow stakeholder in the trucking industry and working together allows both organisations to maximise reach and deployment of resources. Serving truckers and the allied community will be the primary aim of this Healthcare Centre, along with awareness on generation of HIV-AIDS and prevention of STIs among truckers and the local community. We already have 31 similar health centres at multiple transhipment hubs across the country to serve the community.”
The new facility, Healthcare Centre, has been created with a spacious floor space of 2500 sq. ft. The centre is equipped with adequate diagnostic equipment, which is exclusive for the health education of the Driving community within the Driver Training premises. A nominal registration fees of INR 20/- will enable the driver to avail these services at any of the 31 Apollo centres across India. The idea behind this initiative is not just to provide medical benefits, but also to educate the drivers for a better life beyond driving.
Since 1994, Ashok Leyland has been educating the driving community on good driving practices through the establishment of the Driver Training Institute at Namakkal. Currently, 11 Driver Training Institutes are operational across the country and cumulatively 14,82,462 drivers have been educated since inception, through various sessions.
Apollo Tyres launched its healthcare initiative in 2000, and has since reached out to nearly 50 lakh people with its services like HIV-AIDS Awareness and Prevention, Vision Care, TB and other healthcare services in 31 centres across the country. The initiative has won multiple awards for its pioneering and effective work with the community.