Coca-Cola and NDTV join hands to launch the "Support My School" Campaign, a movement for Healthy, Active and Happy schools
In it continued endeavor to help build sustainable communities, Coca-Cola India and NDTV in association with their NGO partners, UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Sulabh International have embarked upon a unique initiative - 'Support My School' campaign. The campaign aims to develop over 100 healthy, active and happy schools in rural and semi-urban towns by improving basic amenities and subsequently generating monetary resources, hence benefiting over 50,000 students across the country. As part of a special launch event, cricketing legend and campaign ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar unveiled the campaign logo along with Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia and Dr. Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV. Some of the other eminent personalities present to lend their support to the campaign included, Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Telecom and Human Recourse Development, Dr. Kulwant Singh, Advisor, UN-HABITAT, Subodh Bhargava, Chairman, CAF India, Abha Bahadur, Senior Vice-President, Sulabh International Social Service Organization, Actor and Activist Dia Mirza and CEO, CAF India, Amita Puri, Actor, Raveena Tandon and Members of the Parliament, Priya Dutt and Sanjay Raut.
Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India & SWA, Cricketing legend and campaign Ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar and Dr. Pranoy Roy, Chairman NDTV during the panel discussion at the launch of the Coca-Cola NDTV 'Support My School' campaign.Speaking at the occasion, cricketing legend and campaign ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar, said, "I am honored to be associated with this noble campaign. It is my belief that a multi lateral partnership of this kind is an appropriate initiative to catalyze a movement towards building healthy, active and happy schools. As a firm believer in the cause, I would urge all sections of the society to come forward and contribute to the betterment of schools and overall education system in the country."
Actor and Social Activist, Dia Mirza, Subodh Bhargava, Chairman CAF India, Atul Singh, President and CEO Coca-Cola India & SWA, Cricketing legend and Campaign Ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar, Dr.Kulwant Singh, Advisor, UN Habitat and Abha Bahadur, Senior Vice-President Sulabh International Social Service Organization during the launch event.Elucidating the role of the 21st century corporate, Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said "We believe that the role of business in the 21st century is not just about creating shareholder value but also promote the sustainability of the environment and local communities. In addition to our focus on environment and water, we have also been focused on education because we believe that education is the basis of social change. Today we are providing infrastructure support to several schools, have instituted scholarships to support needy students and also organize the annual Limca Book of Records Quiz across nearly 3500 schools. We are extremely pleased to be a part of SUPPORT MY SCHOOL campaign and are thankful to all the partners for having believed in this movement and for coming together to launch the initiative today." Some of the activities undertaken as a part of this campaign will include provision of improved access to water, appropriate sanitation facility for girls and boys, improvement in the overall infrastructure and environment, provision for sports and recreation facilities such as cricket, badminton & basket ball courts, swings etc and recharging groundwater through rainwater harvesting. Emphasizing on how lack of basic amenities in schools not only results in increased absenteeism but also in high dropout rate, especially among girls, Dr. Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV said, "Numerous research studies have shown that the biggest reason for the high drop-out rate of the girl child in our schools is the lack of facilities, like toilets, for them. One of the several aims of this campaign is to provide these facilities for our girl students. Please join us to help make a difference to our schools all around the country." A school in Jhundpur village (Sonepat) in Haryana, was the first to benefit under the "Support My School initiative. The project supported the school by aiding infrastructural work such as building hygienic sanitation facilities especially for girls, setting up a rain water harvesting unit, providing improved access to water, renovating the sports grounds to promote healthy and active living and improving the environment. Explaining the project and implementation model, Dr. Kulwant Singh, Advisor, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) said, "A child needs holistic nature of education. Hence to help set up such schools with enhanced facilities for holistic education, our primary focus of this campaign will be capacity building, promoting water conservation, sanitation and hygiene education" As a part of the inaugural contribution towards this fund raising initiative, Coca-Cola & UNHABITAT have pledged Rs. 1 Crore to the Support My School campaign. The campaign over the next 6 months will raise further monetary resources from public. The fund-raising will peak with a telethon hosted by Sachin Tendulkar in mid 2011.