Ranveer Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Venkatesh Kini come together for the Coca-Cola-NDTV ‘Support My School’ telethon with Vikram Chandra
Telethon helps raise funds for 400 schools. The campaign will now reach 1000 schools, in 23 states, benefitting 300,000 students
- The Campaign since its initiation, has revitalized more than 600 schools, impacting close to 200,000 students
- Schools under the Support My School campaign will now also have barrier-free toilets for differently abled
- In Tamil Nadu alone, the Support My School initiative has impacted 46 schools and over 18817 students.
Sourav Ganguly, Venkatesh Kini and Ranveer Singh came together for a 6-hour telethon with Vikram Chandra to raise funds for the Coca-Cola-NDTV Support My School campaign. They ended up raising Rs. 20 crores over the 6 hour show, which will now help the campaign revitalize 1,000 schools in 23 states, benefiting over 300,000 students in rural and semi-urban India. Support My School focuses on providing (1) access to clean, drinking water (2) sanitation facilities for boys and girls (3) playgrounds and sports equipment (4) teaching aids including library and computer facilities. In Tamil Nadu alone 18817 students are benefitting from this initiative in 46 govt. schools.
The initiative, which adds to the ongoing efforts of the Government, in realising the ‘Swachh Bharat, Swacch Vidyalaya’ campaign, will also build barrier-free toilets for differently-abled children, going forward,thereby further deepening its impact. The first four years of the SMS campaign has seen the revitalization of 600 schools, benefiting more than 200,000 school children. Its implementing partners include – Plan India, World Vision India, Charities Aid Foundation, Round Table India, Aga Khan Foundation and SRF Foundation.
Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia said, “Support My School has grown from being an initiative, to a campaign that has more than 100 partners, leaving a deep impact. Having seen the change that it is making, we wanted to take the campaign to more schools by raising additional funds. When NDTV first discussed about making me a co-anchor to Vikram Chandra, for the telethon and help raise funds, I was fairly uncomfortable. But then, the cause of children was bigger. It appears that all of us did a decent job of raising funds and am happy that Support My school will now reach 1,000 schools. I thank everyone that has lent their shoulders to the wheel. Yesterday was another example of crowd sourcing for a cause. The people of our country always stand up, when it matters.”
The telethon for the Support My School campaign saw participation from Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand and Gujarat and it showcased stories from rural India, highlighting the need for clean, healthy and green environment for school children. Achievers from all walks of life, the likes of Mr. N. R. Narayan Murthy, Kalpana Morparia, Naina Lal Kidwai, Zarina Screwala, Sonali Bendre, Rajkumar Hirani, Dr. Kailash Satyarthi and others, joined forces to garner support and draw attention to the cause of education.
Vikram Chandra, Executive Director and CEO, NDTV said, “It feels great to see the impact of SMS initiative and what we have achieved in terms of improving lives of children in schools. We feel proud to be an associated partner of Coca-Cola India for Support My School initiative which has significantly improved infrastructure in Government schools across the country and given conducive environment to school children.”
Accessibility to clean drinking water and sanitation issues in schools have always been big impediments for a girl child to have access to the basic education in India; resulting in absenteeism and dropouts. The SMS campaign began as a response to several studies which indicated that a large number of schools in rural and semi-urban areas lacked basic amenities leading to accelerated student drop-out rate. 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 and making a positive difference to the lives of these children. The impact has seen increased enrolment in schools from 6.95% (2013-14) to 14.77% (2014-15).
Sourav Ganguly, brand ambassador, ‘Support My School’ said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with such a cause that not only impacts several lives but has a vision of building India’s future. We need support from organizations like Coca-Cola and need more such initiatives like Support My School, which has helped in holistic growth of children in many schools across the nation.”
Ranveer Singh, leading actor of Indian cinema, said, “I think as a nation, we all have to play our parts in bringing the country forward. Today was a heart-warming day as we were able to reach out and bring so many people on board. I would like to thank everyone who joined in for this special effort and am looking forward to stories of children studying in active, healthy and happy schools all across India”
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India’s CEO, Meenakshi Batra elaborated “Our strategic alliance with the Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School campaign goes back to 2010 when we conceived this idea to change the way school management, students and parents view sanitation in schools. After carrying out a nationwide assessment, CAF India identified serious gaps in water and sanitation systems, budgetary provisions and children’s hygiene practices. We are happy to have partnered with Coca-Cola and NDTV in this unique initiative, which helped us create an enabling environment for many happy, healthy and active schools across the country. We are sure this will go a long way in child development and create a holistic environment for children so that they remain in schools.”
Another implementing partner added, Cherian Thomas, CEO & National Director, World Vision India, “World Vision India is delighted to be a part of this initiative, and we are proud to say that 35,000 children have been impacted each year of this campaign. Construction of toilets, hand wash stations and child-friendly spaces with play equipment accessible to all, including children with disabilities, has been a hallmark of this campaign. It is critical to many of our communities as these schools are their only hope of education amidst issues such as child labour, disability and malnutrition. Many children are coming back to the schools from private institutions and enrolment rates have improved – an evidence of the programme’s impact. We hope this effort reaches many more schools and helps more children realise their dreams.”
Support My School is a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) initiative that aims to improve basic amenities in government schools like separate toilets for boys and girls and access to water. The Campaign is also committed to developing the overall infrastructure like playground and a clean environment to encourage a holistic learning environment. The Schools revitalized under the campaign have served as model schools in several districts and have led to enhanced community engagement and higher emphasis on attendance and enrolment.