Sourav Ganguly joins ‘Support My School’ Campaign
1000 Schools targeted by 2017…
500 Schools from across India have been revitalized under the Support My School (SMS) programme jointly put together by Coca-Cola India, NDTV and UN-Habitat. These schools have received better access to water and sanitation amongst other facilities, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, impacting over 150,000 students across 22 States. 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 enrollment. Former India Captain Sourav Ganguly has been roped in to create rapid awareness.
Sourav Ganguly’s involvement with the SMS programme will see him guide and support this campaign toreach 1000 schools by 2017. He will actively contribute towards spreading awareness about the campaign and taking it to a larger number of students across the country, apart from emphasizing the need to remain fit and healthy through active participation in sports, which is also an important element of the campaign.
Speaking at the occasion, Cricketing legend and Coca-Cola Happiness Ambassador, Sourav Ganguly, said, “I am honored to be associated with Support My School. It is my belief that it is an important initiative to catalyze a movement towards building healthy, active and happy schools and fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya. Having visited an impacted school and seen the transformation first hand, active, healthy and happy schools can be a major game changer for students and I will try and bring in my learnings to scale up the programme.”
Mr. Venkatesh Kini, President – Coca-Cola India & SWA, said “I would like to thank all the partners and donors, for joining hands and taking this concept of happy, healthy, inclusive schools to 500 schools. After the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya announcement last year, we have committed to scaling up our target to 1,000 schools by 2017. Other than the infrastructure and facilities that this campaign has created, for me what is more valuable is the exposure that the students get when they interact with global leaders, teachers, students and experts from other schools and colleges, through this platform. I thank Swachh Bharat Ambassador Sourav Ganguly for lending his hand to the campaign and Farhan Akhtar for steering this concept as the Coca-Cola brand Ambassador. We are on an ambitious journey of trying to keep our children, where they belong, but it is a journey that we are traversing together.”
About Support My School Campaign
Support My School started as a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) initiative that aimed to improve basic amenities in government schools like separate toilets for boys and girls and access to water. The campaign has over the past 4 years committed to developing the overall infrastructure like playgrounds and a clean environment to encourage a holistic learning environment in these schools. The campaign today has a more expanded purview and looks at providing the following:
- Access to separate toilets for students, especially girls
- Access to water
- Access to sports
- Rainwater Harvesting
- Environmental Upkeep
Coca-Cola India & NDTV launched Support My School in association with the UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in 2011. It undertakes the following core activities:
- Provision of improved access to water
- Appropriate sanitation facility for girls and boys
- Improvement in the overall school 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 their hands. Support My School endeavours to eliminate this basic concern by spreading the initiative across the country with the help of campaign partners to execute the same.