Once upon a time there lived a pretty little witty girl called Titli in a small village called Titlinagar. She was all of five years old and yet she dazzled the entire village with her wit and humour. Her illiterate parents knew she had great potential if she ever got some education and she would make a name for the whole village. But alas, the only school that existed in that village was in a dilapidated state and hardly anyone wished to send their children in there. A few kids fell really sick some days back and that further discouraged Titli’s parents to send her in that hellhole. Little Titli kept prancing around the whole day trying to make sense of her life.#SupportMySchool - A wonderful initiative to revitalise schools in India! Click To Tweet
One day, she noticed moving dust and ran towards it to find that it was a caravan of a few jeeps with unknown people. Now, Titli’s father also happened to be the leader of the village and the caravan was inching closer to her home. Petrified, she ran inside the house. But she didn’t really need to fear, as these were super heroes who had just come to rescue her school and in a way the entire village. They met her father and promised to revitalise the school in their village and provide necessary amenities such as access to clean drinking water, separate and appropriate sanitation facilities for girls and boys, sports and recreation facilities etc., which would lead to the improvement in the overall school infrastructure and environment and make it conducive to learning. They were aware of the importance of a clean place to study and how such a place transforms the lives of students. They mentioned that they were part of the Support My School, Coca-Cola India and NDTV, Mission 1000 initiatives which were also in line with the Swacchh Bharat vision.
The super heroes explained that Coca-Cola India & NDTV had launched Support My School in association with the UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in 2011. Support My School is a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) initiative that aims to improve basic amenities in government schools. It is an unfortunate fact that accessibility to clean drinking water and sanitation issues in schools have always been big impediments for a girl child especially to have access to the basic education in India; resulting in absenteeism and dropouts. And this is exactly what the Support My School initiative aims to eliminate. An 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 accelerated student drop-out rates. 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) and the future results will only get better. Over 600 schools have already been revitalised and another 200 are underway, with over 200,000 children getting access to drinking water, better sanitation, playing and other facilities.
Once the super heroes left, Titli’s parents were overwhelmed. Their daughter was going to get lucky and get everything that they missed out on; and with her all the other Titlis and boys of their village would get lucky too. Kudos to the Support My School initiative!
Some pictures when the initiative was launched.
Featured Image Source: Flickr