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Celebrities raise funds for Coca-Cola-NDTV-UN Habitat ‘Support My School’ campaign

NDTV organized a telethon to generate awareness and raise funds under ‘Support My School’.  The campaign plans to scale up its footprints to 1000 schools, 23 states and 300,000 students

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | November 30, 2015

Ranveer-Singh,-Sourav-Ganguly-spar-on-the-pitch-for-the-Coca-Cola-Support-My-School-movement

Sourav Ganguly, Venkatesh Kini and Ranveer Singh took centre stage to raise funds for the Coca-Cola India, NDTV, UN Habitat multi- partner programme for happy, healthy and active schools - ‘Support My School’ campaign. The campaign is all set to scale up its footprints to revitalise 1000 schools by 2017 in 23 states, benefiting over 300,000 students in rural and semi-urban India.

A telethon, organised to generate awareness and raise funds for the cause under the ‘Support My School’ initiative, was attended by Ranveer Singh and Sonali Bendre in Mumbai.

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, thereby strengthening the initiative and deepening the impact. The first four years of the SMS campaign has seen revitalization of 600 schools across the nation, providing vital school infrastructure and basic amenities like clean drinking water and sanitation to approximately 200,000 school children in support of its implementing partners -Plan India, World Vision India, Charities Aid Foundation, Round Table India, Aga Khan Foundation and SRF Foundation.

Actor Ranveer Singh, 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.”

Accessibility to clean drinking water and sanitation issues in schools have always been big impediments for girl children to have access to 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 an 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).

Facilitated by Sourav Ganguly, former Indian cricket team captain and brand ambassador for ‘Support My School’ campaign, Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia and Vikram Chandra, Executive Director and CEO, NDTV, the event showcased stories from rural India, highlighting the need for clean, healthy and green environment for school children and how it has impacted the lives of several children, especially girls.

On the occasion, 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.”

Venkatesh_Kini Venkatesh Kini

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 50 partners in 23 states across India impacting nearly 200,000 children in 600 schools. By 2017 we wish to take this initiative to another level by reaching out to 1000 schools and building toilets for differently-abled children.”

Vikram Chandra Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra, Executive Director and CEO, NDTV, said, “It feels great to see the impact of  the SMS initiative and what we have achieved in terms of improving lives of children in Government 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.”

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.”

“Another implementing partner, Cherian Thomas, CEO and National Director, World Vision India, said, “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.”

Suman Voora, President, Round Table India, said, “The Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School & Round Table India partnership emphasizing to create a hygienic environment with implementation of various elements like Sanitation, Water Harvesting, Library facilities, Access to Water, Playground facilities and Plantation activities are a value add to the existing 5108 classrooms we have built in the last 17 years under the Freedom Through Education program.”

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.

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