~Support My School will lend a hand to PM’s ‘Sanitation in every School’ pledge ~

Coca-Cola India and Plan India commemorate completion of revitalized schools in Bihar with dedication of Govt. Middle School, Bahadurpur in Patna

Mr.Shyam Rajak, Minister Food and Consumer Affairs, Government of Bihar; Ms. Kanchana Bala- BEO of Patna, Mr. Sameer Wadhawan, VP – HR, Coca-Cola India; Mr. Deepak Jolly, VP – PAC, Coca-Cola India and Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India dedicate the facilities to students and staff

Post implementation and through active efforts of school and NGO staff, the number of students have increased
Support My School provides improved access to safe water, adequate sanitation, sports and recreation facilities, a clean and green environment and a rain water harvesting structure

Patna, September 16th 2014: Coca-Cola’s Support My School campaign, an initiative to build Happy, Healthy and Active Schools for students in rural and semi-urban areas, today dedicated the Govt. Middle School, Bahadurpur in Patna to students and community. With the completion of this school, the program has reached 10 schools in the state impacting the lives of over 6000 students. Mr.Shyam Rajak, Minister Food and Consumer Affairs, Government of Bihar; Mr. Sameer Wadhawan, VP – HR, Coca-Cola India; Ms. Kanchana Bala, BEO of Patna, Mr. Deepak Jolly, VP – PAC, Coca-Cola India and Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India were present to dedicate the facilities to the school principal, teachers, and students.

Since the implementation of Support My School and through active efforts of school and NGO staff, the Govt. Middle School, Bahadurpur has witnessed increased enrolment and more active participation of students in school activities. Plan India and Nidaan are the partners who have have implemented this project in the school.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sameer Wadhawan, VP – HR, Coca-Cola India said, “It gives us all great pleasure to see the milestones Support My School has achieved over the last few years. I congratulate the Principal, teachers and community members for the increased enrolment in the school and hope that the new facilities are maintained for the future. Support My School has become a national movement towards healthy, happy schools for children across India and we hope to continue the momentum by announcing the dedication of 10 schools in Bihar today.”

Coca-Cola India’s Support My School, a Sanitation PLUS solution is implemented by grassroot NGOs. It recently celebrated completion of over 350 schools in India in 18 states across the country, impacting 125,000 children with an investment of over INR 20 crores so far. The funds invested in the facilities were raised from over 50 corporate donors and partners, with Coca-Cola contributing nearly 7 crores till date.

Thanking the campaign for the revitalization work done in their school, Shri Mithilesh Kumar, principal, Bahadurpur Govt. Middle School said, “Thank you Support My School for the work they have done. The students are benefitting from the new facilities. Today we have more students motivated in the area to come to school. I’m very proud to be the principal of such a school. I’m grateful to Coca-Cola and Plan India for helping in this transformation.”

Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said “Plan India has always partnered with causes which enable children to exercise their right to education, irrespective of their social background. Our journey with Support My School has been very exciting and we are proud to be part of this dedication today. As the campaign moves ahead, we look forward to creating more of such life-impacting change for the children of the country.”

Support My School campaign began as a response to several studies which indicated that a large number of schools in rural & semi-urban areas lacked basic amenities leading to accelerated student drop-out rates. Not only has Coca-Cola invested in the initiative but also encouraged other stakeholders such as youth organizations, student ambassadors and others to become a part of it. The aim is to revitalize 600 schools by 2015 and 1000 schools by 2016.

About Support My School

Coca-Cola India joined hands with NDTV to launch Support My School in association with UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Pearson Foundation and Tata Teleservices in 2011.

SMS undertakes the following core activities:

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 and
Recharging groundwater through rainwater harvesting
With such necessary amenities in place, schools are able to provide a cleaner and healthier environment more conducive to learning.

Education in rural India suffers from several issues where lack of sanitation is a key reason for absenteeism and dropouts amongst students. This is especially noted in young girls who are forced to quit as they enter adolescence due to a lack of clean and functional toilets. Children are also likely to fall sick more often without clean water to drink or to wash hands. Support My School endeavors to eliminate this basic concern by spreading the initiative across the country with the help of campaign partners to execute the same.

About Coca-Cola India

Coca-Cola India is one of the country’s leading beverage companies, offering a range of healthy, safe, high quality, refreshing beverage options to consumers. Over the last 20 years, ever since its re-entry in 1993, the company has been refreshing consumers with its beverage products – Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Maaza, Minute Maid range of juices, Georgia and Georgia gold range of hot and cold tea and coffee options, Kinley and Bonaqua packaged drinking water, Kinley Club Soda and BURN. The Company along with its bottling partners, through a strong network of over 2.2 million retail outlets, touches the lives of millions of consumers, at a rate of more than 500 servings per second. Its brands are some of the most preferred and most sold beverages in the country – Thums Up and Sprite – being the top two selling sparkling beverages.

The Coca-Cola system in India has registered 32 consecutive quarters of growth, 19 of them being double digit. It believes in the long term growth potential of the country and this system is committed to invest US$ 5 billion in its operations between 2012 and 2020. The system already provides direct employment to 24,000 people and indirect employment to 150,000 people.

The Coca-Cola system in India is contributing in its own small way to building sustainable communities and reducing its own environmental footprint. Some of our community development programs include the ‘Parivartan’ and ‘Pragati’ retailer training program, Career Development centers to train youth and make them employable, women empowerment program as a part of the global 5BY20 campaign, Unnati – a sustainable mango farming project etc.