Ashok Leyland, the second largest commercial vehicle OEM in India, has partnered tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres to provide healthcare facilities 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, which will be run by Apollo Tyres, was inaugurated today by Anuj Kathuria, Chief Operating Officer, and Balachandar NV, President, HR, Communication and CSR, Ashok Leyland; along with Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Sunam Sarkar, President and Chief Business Officer, Apollo Tyres.
Serving 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 healthcare services for vision care, diabetes, hypertension and tuberculosis. The two companies will be working together to establish more such healthcare centres in large transshipment hubs across the country.
Commenting on the partnership, 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.”
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. Through this collaboration, we will also educate the drivers on the importance of health for both personal as well as professional life. This will enable us to strengthen our relationship with the growing driver community.”
The new facility 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. An only Rs 20 registration fee will enable a driver to avail these services at any of the 31 Apollo Tyres Healthcare 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 1,482,462 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.