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

Coca-Cola India and Plan India commemorates completion of 15 schools in Orissa with dedication of Bhaliabadi UGUP School, Khordha
Present on the occasion to commemorate the completion of the school were Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, Vice President, Finance, Coca-Cola India, Mr. Tusar Ray, State Manager, Orissa, Plan India and senior officials from the District Education Office
The facilities at Bhaliabadi UGUP School, Khordha have been revitalized with the support of Plan India in association with Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD)
Support My School provides improved access to safe water and adequate sanitation, facilities for sports and recreation, library and teacher training facilities, a clean and green environment and a structure for rain water harvesting.
The Support My School program recently completed 350 schools in 18 states across the country, impacting over 125,000 students

Khordha (Odisha), August 25, 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 commemorated revitalization of 15 schools in Orissa under the program. Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, Vice President, Finance, Coca-Cola India and Mr. Tusar Ray, State Manager. Orissa, Plan India came together to dedicate the newly installed facilities at the Bhaliabadi UGUP School in Khordha. Impacting more than 3000 students in Orissa, the Support My School Campaign is all set to enter its next phase across India.

Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, Vice President – Finance, Coca-Cola India along with Mr. Tusar Ray State Manager, Orissa, Plan India and senior officials from the District Education Office dedicated the revitalized facilities to the school Principal, teachers, students and the community. Coca-Cola India’s Support My School, a SanitationPLUS 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.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, Vice President, Finance, Coca-Cola India said, “Support My School, since its inception, has grown from just being a campaign to a platform where we have been dedicated towards building holistic, happy and healthy schools for our children. The campaign completed 15 schools in Orissa and each of these schools has been revitalized with a lot of care and hard work. Hon. Prime Minister has given a clarion call for corporate India to join hands in a mission to provide access to sanitation in all schools across India. Coca-Cola has been consistently working in this direction and will continue to take this initiative ahead and help create a welcoming and caring environment in schools for our children.”

Mr. Tusar Ray, State Manager, Orissa, Plan India says about the campaign, “This partnership with Support My School campaign has helped us further this cause in a tremendous way. The campaign has reached out to some of the most remote areas in the country, helping us impact more lives. With each school revitalized under the campaign we get closer to our goal of providing the children of this nation with a holistic school environment where they can learn and grow.”

Thanking the campaign for the revitalization work done in their school, Miss. Supriya Mohapatra, Principal, Bhaliabadi UGUP School said, “Support My School has given a new lease of life to our school and has really helped boost morale among our students. I thank Coca-Cola, Plan India and Centre for Youth and Social Development for their effort that has brought this transformation to our school.”

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. The campaign has been creating awareness about the conditions of schools in these areas, fostering a private-public partnership where corporate organizations step in to reinstall basic facilities in these government-run schools. 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 in 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.