Sundaram Finance looks at fighting vaccine hesitancy in TN as a ‘moral imperative’

Sundaram Finance looks at fighting vaccine hesitancy in TN as a ‘moral imperative’

Chennai: Covid has been a tough time for the Sundaram Finance Group as the company has seen thousands of their customers and staff operating at various levels pass away during the pandemic, the second wave in particular. Hence, the company believes it is a moral imperative to fight vaccine hesitancy in Tamil Nadu, Harsha Viji, Executive Vice Chairman, Sundaram Finance told ET.

“For us as a company, Covid hit quite hard. For us getting people to take the vaccine is a moral imperative. We find that there’s a fair percentage of the population, which is hesitant to take vaccines for a number of reasons. Tamil Nadu, which is our home state, is particularly bad, despite being a relatively developed, well educated state.”

He said that the company is looking to put Rs 6 crore behind the initiative and will look to scale up this amount as the reach expands and it gains traction. The programme will have two or three layers in terms of execution. One layer is the media, followed by a digital awareness programme and lastly, we will have an outdoor campaign.

In line with this, the company has come out with a music video, Oosingo, along with static creatives to motivate the masses of Tamil Nadu to overcome their inhibitions about the after-effects of the vaccine. The music video is composed by Tamil music director and singer, Anirudh Ravichander and has Arivarasu Kalainesan (Arivu) as the lyricist. The music video also includes well known personalities in the Tamil film industry, namely director Ajay Gnanamuthu, choreographer Satish Krishnan and cinematographer Manoj Paramahansa. It also features celebrities of the Kollywood industry like Robo Shankar, Bj Bala, Thangadurai, and Deepa Shankar, highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated.

However, Viji made it clear that the company will look at actively ensuring there is local level execution. Sundaram Finance will make use of its significant ground level presence to drive the message home.

“We have a significant ground-level presence across all our companies across the state, which we will be using to drive things down to the local level, and hopefully, that will have an extended impact. If you look at vaccine hesitancy in Tamil Nadu in particular, rural seems to be a larger issue and that is something we need to address at a local level,” he said.

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