One in every five Indian children drops out of school and nearly 80 million fail to complete their elementary education. Almost 50 per cent of girls do not complete secondary schooling and one of the major contributing factors to this appalling statistic is the poor quality of education and unhygienic sanitation facilities in our schools.

To help resolve this pressing issue, Coca-Cola India joined hands with NDTV and various partners, such as Plan India and World Vision India to initiate the ‘Support My School’ campaign. The campaign empowers the under privileged sections of society by providing the necessary water and sanitation facilities along with the basic infrastructure required in any school.

Inspired by the interventions made under Support My School programme, the communities and school management committees too have adopted certain leadership roles in terms of ensuring better sanitation facilities, electrical supply and improvisation of school infrastructure.

“We saw outsiders making changes in our school for its betterment which inspired us and the community. SMC with help from community raised Rs. 35,000 to support flooring of the classrooms in the school,” says an SMC member.

In Government Panchayat Union, Primary School, Virudh Nagar, Tamil Nadu, sanitation facilities along with water supply, game equipment and green plants were provided. The SMC members got inspired from the support provided for development of school infrastructure and lent their help by raising money and upgrading classroom.

“A road passes through our school and villagers use this road very often since it’s a short cut. Inspired by Support My School intervention, we requested villagers not to use road so we can maintain the school in a better way. Now villagers don’t use this road and they have even come together and built a bamboo fencing and bamboo gate for the school,” says Principal, UPG Rajkiyakrit MS Bhut, Khunti, Jharkhand.

Not only has the attitude of the authorities and communities changed, but the outlook of students and parents too has changed considerably. Children enjoy school and don’t miss it for anything.

“Children won’t miss classes now and come regularly, even if they get fever,” says Swamy, father of a student in school, Higher Primary School, Kaggala, Chamrajnagar, Karnataka.

“I have studied in this school in my childhood and I’m proud to see the changes in the school,” says Siddharaju, father of a student, Higher Primary School, Berambadi, Chamrajnagar, Karnataka. Parents are no longer worried about their children at school and are happy that they don’t return home for toilets and meals.

Coca-Cola India believes every child is entitled to an equal opportunity to succeed, and that the best way to provide this opportunity is through a quality, inclusive education. It believes in providing children from the most excluded and vulnerable communities with the education, skills, protection and support they need to help them grow into capable and responsible citizens. The Support My School campaign helps the children build their present so they can build their future.