When 37-year-old Ganesh Murugan met with an accident that cost him his mobility, he never imagined that one day he would be turning heads by doing something unbelievable. Gliding through the obstacles life threw at him, Ganesh, who is a resident of Chennai, is now an active delivery agent for Zomato. He also owns the title of the country’s first wheelchair food delivery person.
Thanks to IIT Madras-incubated start-up, who turned Ganesh’s adversity into opportunity. NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Private Limited is a start-up founded by three students and a faculty from IIT Madras. They develop motorized hybrid vehicles that cater to the needs of differently-able and the elderly.
Read | Why Indian Farmers Find it Hard to Move Beyond Agricultural Jobs Despite Low Returns? IIT Madras Research Finds Out
One of their creations called Neo Bolt came as a blessing for Ganesh, who is able to make food deliveries without any hassle. Neo Bolt is a motorized wheelchair that turns into a normal wheelchair with just a push of a button. So, if you wish to map areas indoors, all you need to do is push the button and the motor part of the wheelchair comes right off. This increases accessibility two-fold.
Thank you for the message!
We will be more than happy to assist!
— NeoMotion (@neomotionlife) June 4, 2022
Talking about how Neo Bolt changed his life, Ganesh said, “With Neo Bolt I am able to get into shops easily. It is easy for me to deliver food on Zomato,” as reported by tellmystory.
Day 1 – @zomato Deliveries by People with Spinal Cord Injury – Ganesh Murugan from Chennai#livelihood #independence @socialpwds @DisabilityIndia @Chdspinalrehab @BhyanEkta @DeepaAthlete @ParalympicIndia @Drvirendrakum13 @MSJEGOI @MSJE_AIC @swiggy_in @SminuJindal @nhfdcindia pic.twitter.com/z787Astx8B
— NeoMotion (@neomotionlife) April 19, 2022
Day 3 – @zomato delivery on wheelchair by Mr Ganesh Murugan. He is paralysed from waist down due to Spinal Cord Injury!
— NeoMotion (@neomotionlife) April 24, 2022
In an interview with NDTV, Ganesh said, “Recently I had to deliver on the 10th floor. I did not ask the customer to come down. I detached the front wheel and got into the lift as it could accommodate the wheelchair. The customer was very impressed. I too enjoyed the experience and the customer was happy too.”
The Neo Bolt has a top speed of 25 kmph and can ride up to 25 kilometres on a single charge. Currently, the motorised wheelchair costs around Rs 1 lakh. The wheelchair can revolutionise the way differently-abled people are employed in such professions and give them more freedom. The founders are currently seeking CSR funding to aid those who cannot afford these two-in-one vehicles.