'FOR BUILDING A HAPPIER TOMORROW'
India is a young country and one of the primary drivers of a young nation is education.
The Right to Education is now enshrined in the Indian constitution and is one of the
principal requirements for a nation to flourish and achieve its economic and social potential.
To ensure that education reaches every child, it is imperative that the children study in healthy
and active schools, schools that offer basic amenities and a healthy environment for children
to come to school. The quest to make a difference in revitalizing rural and semi-urban schools
led to formation of the partnership among NDTV, Coca-Cola and UN-Habitat.
The partnership took the shape of the campaign “Support My School” in January 2011. The campaign was
designed to channelize strengths of the partners and come up with a model of healthy active schools
across the country.
Today through Support My School, over 100 schools spread over 10 states can lay
claim to better access to sanitation, water, playing facilities, libraries, computer centers and a
more welcoming and learning environment.
Over the last year, Support My School has evolved from being
a campaign into becoming a platform. Pearson Foundation and Tata Teleservices added a new dimension
to the campaign. Several likeminded organizations, foundations, citizens and citizen groups have extended
their support that has led to the schools being revitalized.
The challenge now is not to stop at 100 schools, but capture the learning and build on the success. We
strongly believe that challenges are best solved when all stakeholders put their collective might behind
finding locally relevant solutions.
We aspire to work together to take this campaign forward and help
create a welcome and caring environment in schools for our children.
Several studies have revealed that lack of basic amenities like Toilets, Access to Water and Basic Infrastructure
create an unwelcome environment in schools, which leads to higher rate of absenteeism, finally resulting into
Girl child in such areas suffer the most. It is estimated that over 50% of rural schools in India have
non-functional or no toilets. As the girl enters adolescence, she at many times involuntarily sits at home just
because there are no proper, separate toilets for girls in rural schools. Lack of proper water and sanitation facilities
in schools in rural India continues to remain a huge challenge.
With an extensive preparation of almost a year, the partners in their quest to bring a positive change launched SUPPORT
MY SCHOOL (SMS) Campaign on 24th January, 2011. The campaign soon found support from several quarters and eminent
cricketer Sachin Tendulkar joined as the campaign ambassador.
Support My School was launched with an initial corpus of Rs. 10 million/USD 200,000 by Coca-Cola India and UN HABITAT.
The campaign ultimately set its ambition to raise at least INR 50 million/USD 1,000,000 from people at large, key
stakeholders, corporate sector and other groups.
The funds raised through a multistakeholder engagement were planned to
be then deployed to revitalize over 100 healthy and active schools in rural and semi-urban towns directly impacting
thousands of students across the country
Coca-Cola India, NDTV and UN-Habitat came together to launch a unique campaign 'SUPPORT MY SCHOOL' to raise awareness
and funds to provide revitalization of schools in rural and semi-urban India with an emphasis on proper sanitation,
access to water and sporting facilities. Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) was then appointed the Implementation Partner
and Sulabh International as the Knowledge Partner for this campaign.
THE OBJECTIVES OF SUPPORT MY SCHOOL
The campaign adopted a multi-pronged objective approach. The objectives not only included sensitizing the community at
large but also sought to make Support My School to become a platform for the community to make a difference. The campaign
was built around following pillars to create maximum impact.
- Build mass awareness on importance of water and sanitation and how it impacts education
- Engage communities and schools in providing solutions
- Bring all stakeholders on a common platform
- Reach out to at least 10 million people
- Raise funds to directly support at least 100 schools
The 2nd NDTV–Coca-Cola Support My School Telethon, a fundraiser to provide basic amenities in schools of rural and semi urban India was held on
the 3rd of February, 2012.
The second season of the campaign was launched in California, USA on the 22nd of August 2012 by Anil Kapoor with campaign ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar, joining LIVE
via satellite. We started the second year of the campaign with the aim of revitalizing at least 250 schools. This year the campaign also received support from two new
partners, World Vision India and Plan International.
This was followed by a 6 month long awareness drive and a wide range of features with special episodes highlighting importance of sanitation, libraries and play ground
in schools as well as showcasing the impact of the campaign. It also featured exclusives with celebrities like Boman Irani, Chitrangada Singh, Sakshi Tanwar and Priya Dutt
visiting SMS schools and educating the children on the importance of education across NDTV network leading up to the telethon. The NDTV – Coca-Cola Support My School
telethon was broadcast LIVE on the NDTV network and raised funds to provide basic amenities like drinking water, separate toilets for girls and boys, libraries, playground
and computer library in schools of rural and semi urban regions. Sachin Tendulkar along with Bollywood icon, Aishwarya Rai took centre-stage to reach out to millions of
viewers to generate maximum funds for the cause.
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, Ayushman Khurana, Shilpa Rao, Shweta Tiwari, Rahul Bose, Adnan Sami, Shilpa Rao, Cyrus Broacha, Prasoon Joshi, Govind Nihalani, PT Usha, Nagarjuna,
Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and Priya Dutt supported the cause. Adding further excitement to the event was 'Sachin ki Paathshala' -
an interactive session where the Master Blaster shared his cricketing techniques and secrets with children joining in live from across the country and featured success stories
from rural India.
The Support My School Telethon honored SMS Champions and recognized people who espoused the spirit of the Campaign, including school principals like Mr Yagyadatt Arya,
Principal, Jhundpur, Sonepat, Mr Rajbir Singh Principal, Chattera, Sonipat and Mr. Akbar, Principal, Manneguda for their enthusiasm and initiative in sustaining the facilities
provided by the campaign and also for mobilizing the community, panchayat and local education officials along with child prodigies who have defied all odds. Alongside,
a special event was organized in one of the revitalized rural school in collaboration with PT Usha’s SPEEDSTAR initiative to find the next sprinter from India. There were
simultaneous live dedications of season 2 schools across different cities of India.
This edition of the campaign received an overwhelming response from people across different walks of life and generated 13.5 crores, 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. With the funds generated through the 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 along with improvement in their overall infrastructure and environment.