Support My school
Children are the future of the nation, the foundation on which a strong,
vibrant and dynamic country is built. It is absolutely imperative that we
understand that any investments in their upbringing are the real investments
that we make in the country’s future.

Even as the Central Government is pushing towards the construction of
toilets, especially for girls, across the country, lack of toilets and proper
hygiene facilities still remain one of the primary reasons for the high
drop-out in government run schools.

Such lack of proper sanitation facilities effect a girl child the most and
as they enter adolescence, they are forced to stay at home due to poor
sanitation and lack of toilets in their schools. Such massive dropouts from
school due to lack of basic amenities like toilets, access to water and basic
infrastructure, is directly affecting the future of our country creating an
unwelcoming and non-conducive environment all around.

Understanding this problem, Coca-Cola India and NDTV has launched a
public service campaign in association with UN-Habitat, Charities Aid
Foundation (CAF) and several other partners to empower the underprivileged
sections of the society by providing the basic amenities like necessary water
and proper sanitation facilities as well as the basic infrastructure required
in the rural schools in India.

Named the “Support My School” (SMS), this initiative was launched in
January 2011 as a public-private partnership campaign. In the almost 5 years
that this campaign has taken shape, it has been largely successful in focusing
public attention on the state of affairs in rural schools in India and
garnering support to develop the basic infrastructure facilities to enable the
children to stay at school and not force them to drop out just because of lack
of proper sanitation facilities.

With several partners like Plan India, Worldvision India, SRF Foundation,
Tetrapak and others joining in and pledging their support to this initiative, Support
My School campaign has been able to raise funds and moral support and strength.

In the five years of this campaign, the campaign has been successful in
revitalizing over 600 schools in India so far into schools with clean and
separate toilets for boys and girls. It has also been successful in its
endeavor to provide other basic amenities such as playgrounds, sports
facilities and above all, clean and sustainable source of drinking water to all
these rural schools depending upon their requirement.

In order to draw public attention, this campaign has also regularly roped
in business leaders and celebrities from the field of entertainment and sports
to visit these schools and narrate their stories of success and thus encourage
the children to follow their dreams.

Support My School is a mission dedicated to revitalize 1000 rural schools
in the country through its Mission-1000 program by the end of year 2017, working
on the SanitationPLUS model involving NGOs, community members and private
section (referred to as the Golden Triangle), where in addition to new or
revitalized structures, access to water is also considered an important

The five components covered in this campaign are access to sanitation,
access to water, playing facilities, environmental upkeep and rainwater
harvesting (based on need) and partner led intervention.

The Support My School campaign led by Coca-Cola India and NDTV with the able
support from all the NGO partners involved has been successful in revitalizing
over 600 schools so far resulting in over approximately 2 lakh children
receiving access to better sanitation, water, playing and other facilities.

The happiest sign is that in several schools, enrolment figures of new
children and their attendance data has already started showing an upward trend.

The program has been highly successful in creating awareness about the condition of schools in the form of lack of basic amenities, in the rural and semi-urban areas thus resulting in accelerated drop-out rates. 

Fostering a private-pubic partnership where corporate organisations step in to reinstall basic facilities in these government-run schools and making a positive difference to the lives of these children, the impact of the Support My School initiative has seen enrolment in schools increase and double from 6.95% in 2013-14 to 14.77% in 2014-15.

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Jiyo Mere Sher
“Once upon a time, in a jungle far
away, there lived an elegant striped animal, which was called the Tiger”
Unless we understand the importance
of tiger conservation seriously and get involved in attempts to prevent the
animal from becoming extinct and preserving its natural habitat, it won’t be
very long before tigers would be confined to just these fairy tales.
The most iconic species of the wild
animals ever, the tiger is not just a fascinating or enigmatic animal or just
another wild animal living in some far away habitat.
The tiger is a unique animal which
plays a focal role in the strength, vigour and diversity of our ecosystem.
Being one of the topmost hunters our ecology has ever seen, tigers stand at the
zenith of the food chain and hence help to keep the population of the wild
ungulates in check. They help in sustaining the equilibrium between the prey
herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed.
When animals at the top and bottom
of the food chain start to decline, it’s a clear sign that the entire ecosystem
is in jeopardy. 
Therefore the presence of tigers in the forests is an indicator
of the well-being of our ecosystem. If our ecosystem is well preserved, it
helps in contributing incessant source to both nature of people with fresh
water, food and many other vial services.
The disappearance of the top
predator is a symptom that our ecosystem is not sufficiently protected, and nor
would it exist for long thereafter, which means that by saving the tiger, we
are saving people too.
If the tigers go extinct, the entire
system would collapse. Large predators like tigers are an umbrella species and
protecting them aids hundreds of other species of animals including other
endangered creatures that share tiger territory and habitat and form the
biodiversity, a foundation to keeping our planet vigorous.
Our forests are not only major water
catchment areas, but they provide various other ecological services like clean
air, water, pollination, regulation of temperature etc. Tigers also help the
planet’s poorest communities, by supporting the local economy, in the form of increasing
tourism, which in turn helps provide alternative livelihoods for rural
communities that are supportable to it and raises their income levels.
It’s time we comprehend and
appreciate that when a species goes extinct, it leaves behind a blemish or
mutilation, which affects the entire ecosystem.
Tiger Tiger
burning bright, we will not let you fade out of sight…
That is my
promise to you that we will fight.
Jiyo Mere

“If nature has made anything
more beautiful than a tiger then I do not know what it might be” – Stephen Fry

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