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Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School campaign raises Rs. 13.5 crore for rural schools

Sachin Tendulkar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, led the 12-hour telethon which raised funds and pledges for the revitalization of 272 schools

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | February 4, 2013

Atul Singh with Sachin Tendulkar

NDTV, along with the entire Coca-Cola family of bottlers and employees came together with campaign ambassador Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood superstar and icon Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to support the LIVE 12 hour TELETHON which was telecast across the NDTV network channels on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Tendulkar had set a target of 250 schools to be supported.

This edition of the campaign received an overwhelming response from people across different walks of life and generated 13.5 crores to support 272 schools, with the Bollywood and TV fraternity, Corporate Houses, Athletes, NGO’s politicians and everyone contributing wholeheartedly to this cause to raise funds, and partner NDTV in its mission to make a difference to as many schools as possible across the country.

The state of Maharashtra will stand to gain from this fundraising effort. The Telethon received pledges from several organizations and individuals alike, with significant contributions from donors such as UN-Habitat (Rs. 94 Lakh), Tetra Pak (Rs. 20 Lakh), Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (Rs. 25 Lakhs) and SRF Foundation (Rs. 10 Lakhs) towards raising the amount. The Coca-Cola Foundation committed Rs. 2.5 crore towards the same.

For the first time ever, the 12 hour Support My School Telethon was LIVE streamed on Sachin Tendulkar’s Facebook page (which is the world's biggest Cricketing Community with 9.2 million people) and on YouTube.

The second edition of the Support My School Telethon, held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai, was kicked off by Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, Vikram Chandra, CEO, NDTV India, Campaign Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar and leading actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. In Season 1, the campaign successfully completed revitalization initiatives in more than 100 schools, thereby touching the lives of over 43,000 students, with reduced absenteeism and increase in enrollments, especially amongst girls, as a result.

The leading donors to the campaign were Tetra Pak, Bharti Walmart, SRF Foundation and UN-Habitat. One of the major supporters of the campaign, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCBPL) contributed Rs. 25 lakhs to the campaign. At the launch of Season 2 of the campaign, NGOs Plan and World Vision along with The Coca-Cola Foundation had jointly committed USD 1 Million for 100 schools. Some of the schools funded through this drive were also inaugurated live in Jaipur and Lucknow. Based on the success and impact, World Vision and Plan, further pledged to raise and commit funds for 50 schools.

A host of prominent personalities including  Kajol, Ajay Devgan, Anil Kapoor, Ronnie Screwvala, Alyque Padamsee, Pamela Chopra, Priya Dutt, Yuvraj Singh, Shashi Tharoor, Kailash Kher, Javed Ali, Sushant Singh Rajput,  Rahul Bose, Adnan Sami, Shilpa Rao, Cyrus Broacha, Prasoon Joshi, Govind Nihalani, PT Usha, Nagarjuna, Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Coca-Cola CEO Atul Singh, Dr Kulwant Singh of UN- Habitat, Bhagyashree Dengle Head World Vision & Plan India, Dr Jay Kumar of World Vision, Meenakshi Batra CEO CAF, Khozem Merchant CEO Pearson, Anubhav Sinha and more, along withNDTV's Group CEO Vikram Chandra,   campaign ambassador Sachin Tendulkar and co-host Aishwarya Rai Bachchan took centre-stage to reach out to millions of viewers to generate maximum funds for the cause. The individual highest donor of the day receives the Master Blaster's own autographed bat.

Delighted with the tremendous response received for the initiative, Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairperson NDTV Group said, “This campaign which focusses on reducing the school drop-out rate by girl students across the country is of great importance. Most girl students drop out of school because there are no toilets for girls in majority of our schools. This campaign aims at changing that directly by adopting schools and building these facilities as well as indirectly by raising awareness of the problem and putting pressure on state governments to ensure that every school has toilets and facilities for girl students.  We appreciate the amazing support from our viewers and urge everyone to once again come forward and help Sachin and NDTV “Support My School"

Speaking about the campaign, Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, "It has been a heartening experience to see the variety of stakeholders who came together for this noble cause today. We believe that Support My School's success is a result of collective endeavor and this has been proven again today. I am proud to be part of this initiative which is not only revitalizing schools but also helping shift the national focus to the issues plaguing our education infrastructure. The response we have received this year has surpassed the previous year and I am excited about the journey ahead for the campaign, this season. The contributions raised at the Telethon 2013 will go a long way in fulfilling our vision for season 2 and bring more children back to where they belong in schools."

Speaking at the event, Campaign Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar said, "Telethon 2013 has once again been an overwhelming experience with higher levels of enthusiasm and support for the Support My School campaign than ever before. The campaign is very close to my heart and I am delighted at the response we have received this time from individuals and corporations alike. Congratulations to Coca-Cola and all campaign partners who came together to make this a success. Season 2 of the campaign is underway and I look forward to scoring another double century with the campaign.”

Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Campaign Ambassador, who led the campaign along with Sachin Tendulkar said, "Joining the Support My School Team on this platform today truly gives me great pleasure. I believe Education is immensely Invaluable, Essential and the most Empowering gift we can give the children of our Country.   Every child deserves the best of opportunities to grow and prosper... Every girl needs to recognise that she herself is a beacon of hope and has the potential to influence her future. And I understand and recognise, for this to be possible, these opportunities have to be made available to our children!!!  In a vast country like India, there are many and varied challenges one faces while working with diverse rural and semi-urban communities. Individually, we may not comprehend these challenges, but collectively we are much stronger! And the overwhelming response to this campaign this time has proven that! With 272 schools and counting, the second season of Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School is spreading the joy of learning amongst the children of our country... And this has only been possible All Thanks to Every support and encouragement from donors, viewers, campaign partners and all on board the collective effort today!!! God Bless everyone for their contribution and Thank you!!!”

 With the funds generated through the ‘Support My School’ Telethon, NDTV and Coca-Cola along with CAF, UN-Habitat, World Vision, Plan India and Pearson will reach out to transform 272 schools across the length and breadth of the county providing Sanitation, separate toilets for girls and boys, drinking water, libraries, Sports and Recreation facilities and improvement in their overall infrastructure and environment, to give Indian children a better tomorrow.

Supporting the initiative actor Ajay Devgan said, “The only thing we lack in our country is education. Any solution to any problem in our country is education.”

Adding to it Kajol said, “For a country to go forward education is the first basic step to it and it is every child’s birth right. If by taking small steps such as this can change the situation, more of these should be done.”

The event also featured several enthralling performances by Ayushman Khurana, Kailash Kher, Javed Ali, Adnan Sami, Shilpa Rao, Shweta Tiwari, Nikhil Paul George, Anwesha from Chote Ustad, Anshuman and Deep Raj from India’s Got Talent, Faisal and Ronan from Dance India Dance, Salman, Azmat Husaain and Sanjana Bhola Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs and India’s 3 year old Drummer, Anshuman Nandi, young singers Priyanshi and Rimsha and  honoured a few deserving teachers, toppers and child prodigies. Adding further excitement to the event was ‘Sachin ki Paathshala’ - an interactive session where the Master Blaster shared his Gyaan with children joining in live from across the country. The telethon also featured success stories from supported schools across rural India.

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who spent 12 hours on the show giving valuable tips to school students while repeatedly appealing for donations, made a personal contribution of Rs 10 lakhs, as did Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kajol and Ajay Devgn.

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