: With the Tokyo Paralympics Stars giving joy to over 160 crore Indians across the globe, a unique initiative ‘Radiant in Quest of Gold’ of Shirdi Sai Baba Foundation (SSBF), powered by Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd. also played a critical role in bringing joy to people. This unique initiative was launched in 2017 with the idea to secure gold for the country at the Paralympics 2020 and usher in a new era of the parasports revolution in India. Under‘Radiant in Quest of Gold’ campaign, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India undertook sponsorship of 10 Para athleteswho had achieved significant success at national and international games, but majorly focused onwinning medals in the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.The astounding success of this initiative is reflected in 3 out of 10 of our sponsored players shining at the Tokyo Paralympics- SumitAntilwinning Gold medal, Yogesh Kathuniya winning Silver medal and Sundar Singh Gurjarwinning Bronze medal. It has also paved way further for the promotion of parasports in India.
Addressing the media at a gala event to felicitate the Paralympics winners, Mr. Gurmeet Singh, CMD, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd. said, “Being a socially responsible company, we strongly believe in our responsibility to give back to the society. Promoting and sponsoring para-athletes is the need of the hour and a great way for brands to not only support India in fostering an inclusive world but also contribute to taking India’s Para Sports leadership on the global stage. It is indeed a moment of pride for us and the entire nation that a unique CSR initiative that commenced in 2017, achieved spectacular results for Indian Para Sports at not only national, but also international levels.”
“Shirdi Sai Baba” fame actor and Chairman of Shirdi Sai Baba Foundation, Shri Aushim Khetarpal said, “A small step to sponsor the India – Afghanistan Divyang cricket series at Noida led Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd. to take up this initiative ‘Radiant In Quest of Gold’ with 10 Para Athletes. The idea was not only to support them financially but to be a mentor and motivate them to bring Gold to the country. To inspire more and more divyang people to adopt Para Sports at an early stage, an 11 episodes series ‘Mission made Possible’ has been shot with these athletes on their life history, their trials, tribulation agony and victory.”
Altogether, the 10 para-athletes sponsored under this campaign have secured total 19 medals in the last 3 years for India at various International platforms like Asian Para Games, World Para Grand Prix, Tokyo Paralympics etc. which is a huge achievement for the country.
This was a part of the company’s CSR initiative and focussed on empowering the differently abled sections of the society. To make a constructive contribution towards the training and development of the sportspersons, company’s CSR team vetted the athletes’ past performance and potential before undertaking this CSR initiative. The sponsorship included support for training, diet, counselling sessions, kit, travel for participation in national and international competitions, and other peripherals.
Sumit Antil, winner of gold in the F64 Men’s Javelin Throw at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics said, “It is time that people and even brands in India actively start participating in supporting and fuelling the popularity of para-games and para-athletes. Our Paralympics Stars have ushered a new chapter of Para Sports fame and success in India at the Tokyo Paralympics and the day is not far off when every Indian Paralympics player will return home with gold.”