Aayushi Sukhija is an intern at Coca-Cola India. Below is her personal account of how she witnessed firsthand the transformation of a government school through the the Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School initiative during her internship in the company.

Having worked at a government school earlier as part of a previous assignment, the image of a government school was quite clear in my mind. Shabby corridors, dysfunctional taps and un-kept washrooms were some of the day-to-day problems that the students faced. However, the scenario at Amichand School was quite different. 

Amichand School is a senior secondary school located in Greater Noida. It has a total strength of 1,500 students. It is a school covered under the Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School initiative. A number of facilities like a provision for drinking water, construction of toilets and other sports facilities have been taken care of by the initiative. During my visit, I also noticed the badminton court and football field in mint condition. Such facilities are almost always a dream in government schools and all that the students have is usually a barren piece of land called a ‘playground.’ 

Unlike the government school where I earlier volunteered, the students at Amichand School seemed really happy and content. There were sounds of laughter and joy which filled the corridors. As I got to chat with the kids, they enthusiastically confirmed having no complaints and the fact that they enjoyed coming to school.

The school principal too expressed his delight and addressed how initiatives like Support My School must be undertaken by established corporates in order to work towards a progressed society. He also informed us of the school’s significant increase in strength after the construction of toilets. “Earlier, the number of girls in the school used to be around 300-400, but after the construction of the toilets, this figure has risen up to 600-700,” he said.

Jyoti, a Grade 10 student, said that the provision of separate toilets for boys and girls has benefitted the students while improving the reputation of the school. A class teacher also mentioned the increase in attendance, which was a gradual rise from the attendance they witnessed before.

For me, the visit to the school was a great learning experience since it altered my perception about government schools. It made me realise the potential of a successful CSR initiative and how it can bring about a drastic change in society.

The progress of Amichand School shows how effective and beneficial an initiative like Support My School can be. A total of 92 such schools in the state of Uttar Pradesh and an approximate of 600 schools nationwide have benefitted from the Support My School initiative. Smiles across the students’ and the teachers’ faces is proof of the success of the initiative.  After all, the success of every CSR initiative is measured by its impact and implementation.

If it were according to me, many more organisations must incorporate a program like Support My School . Its advantages to the society are many as I have observed, and it directly ensures the welfare of the students by providing aid as well as required assistance. I thank Coca Cola for giving me the opportunity to visit and witness the impact of Support My School in the school.

 

Aayushi Sukhija, was an intern at Coca-Cola India