Omron Group in India has extended its flagship CSR project ‘Your Voice, Their World’ to the online sphere to create a first-of-its kind online audio library of poems for the visually disabled in association with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi.
Riding on the corporate philosophy of working for the benefit of society, this online campaign is an effort to further strengthen the company’s support to the visually impaired to help them fulfill their dreams of education and overall development via audio-based accessible content. While the first leg of the project (started in December 2013) focused on creation of Accessible Digital Library for blind students at NAB, Delhi premises, this online campaign focuses on creation of an audio library of poems for them by engaging the public at large. The repertoire shall be donated to NAB, Delhi, which shall in turn be sharing it with its own students and thousands of other visually impaired connected through its network.
Conceptualised in association with McCann Health, the campaign reaches out to the people in the form of a website, Android and iOS apps, and exclusive videos being promoted on YouTube. All these vehicles provide an interface where people can record one of the poems available in the database or one from their own collection.
Commenting on this initiative, Takuichi Shimizu, President, Omron Management Centre of India said, “Believing in the untapped potential of ‘human - voice’ based education tools for the visually impaired, the bohemian campaign has a fresh appeal to enthuse people to do their bit towards this relevant cause in an interesting and simple manner. We believe that it shall certainly be helpful in contributing towards the cognitive development, social development of the visually impaired and above all in helping them become a better human being.”
The campaign received its first submission from Omron’s brand ambassador Farhan Akhtar, who lent his voice to a poem written by lyricist and Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, McCann Worldgroup India and South Asia, Prasoon Joshi. According to him, “To run a campaign with poetry at its heart and to serve the visually impaired through it, is an unique opportunity and I was more than happy to pen a poem to get this kick started. Omron is a valued partner for us and I am glad that we have partnered with them to steer such a novel initiative.”
Owing to his association with the campaign since the beginning, Farhan has been promoting the cause. In order to keep increasing the reach of the campaign, it has also been promoted on Omron’s social networking platforms – Facebook and Twitter pages, through other online portals and on-ground activations too.
With more than 1,700 poems submitted so far, Omron is hopeful of keeping the momentum alive to create a meaningful collection of around 3,000 poems by May 2014. All the poems submitted are available for voting. The first phase of the campaign has seen over 33,000 visitors to the website, a 20 per cent increase in Facebook fans, more than 100 per cent rise in Twitter followers and more than 128,000 views of the campaign videos on YouTube.
Being an intrinsic part of the strategy of the campaign since its inception as creative partners, McCann Health feels that for a company that’s built on sensing technology, the best way to fulfill their CSR aspirations is to back an initiative that’s dedicated to the senses. “The visually impaired pay more attention to what their other senses can tell them and our idea was to serve this reality. It’s a beautiful idea and we are proud to be part of it,” said Sohan Shah, SVP, McCann Health.
Sounding optimistic about the campaign and the association, Prashant Ranjan Verma, Joint Secretary, NAB, Delhi said, “Education based on accessible formats is one of the most effective tools to help the visually impaired people become more capable, financially independent, better human beings and a part of the mainstream. Taking this thought forward, we started production of audio and e-books with the support from Omron. Believing that visually impaired people have the same needs of ‘edutainment’ as any other normal human beings, this online initiative is the next level focusing on creating a database of meaningful poems which unfortunately, so far, has been a largely ignored domain.”