“The child is father of the man” – William Wordsworth

Education is the indispensable part of a society and it plays a great part in moulding the innocent and untamed minds giving it a better shape in a rightful manner. Our country, India has progressed in the arena of education; still it has to go a long way to educate the masses. The literacy rate of urban India has raised high in the years, even the rural areas have progressed, but still the roots of it have not penetrated much in the rural areas, and few still remains untouched.

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” ― Brigham Young

India, being a patriarchal society primarily focused on imparting education to boys, believing that the breadwinners of the families need to be educated and the girl’s lot was ignored and were not given a chance to attend school.
The sadistic part was the belief that the people held for the Girl Child. She was confined in the four walls of the house, taking care household work. With the advancement, the mindset of the people changed and the parents realized the importance of studies & encouraged their child, irrespective of gender  to study & were enrolled in schools , a step toward a healthy society. It is true that if females are educated, their contribution is immense in all spheres of life, managing the house, kids and savings and all and are more understanding, so the society is too benefited.

        “Knowledge is not bound to any gender; it is a tool to progress in life in all dimensions.”

The people understood the importance and readily sent their children to schools. But, the lack of basic infrastructure & amenities, toilets, access to water & unhygienic conditions discouraged the children to attend the classes, resulting in long absenteeism and major dropping out of school.
Education is not confined to books and mind, it is an all-round development of a personality inculcating healthy habit, and lifestyle and it can take place in a healthy and conducive environment.
The major chunk of the populace, who suffered from the lack of infrastructure, sanitation and basic amenities were the Girl Child. She faced difficulties in coping up with her education in lack of basic amenities and she chose to give up her dream to educate herself, especially at the stage of puberty.
The girl child has to ascertain her safety and dignity at the age of adolescence and in the absence of separate toilets for girls and boys, the schools were unsafe place to dwell and accommodate her. The conditions were pathetic, mostly in rural areas of both, and the girls were the most affected.
The social groups surveyed and discovered the reason for low attendance at school, mostly in rural areas. To tackle the problem, Coca-Cola and NDTV launched the public service campaign, “’Support My School’ (SMS)”  with UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and other partners to spread awareness on the importance of education in a conducive environment.

Support My School is a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is taking up Mission 1000, to revitalize 1000 schools to improve basic amenities in government schools in the country. This campaign is around spreading awareness on the importance of education and the program run by Coca-ColaNDTV and other NGO partners and is in line with the Swacchh Bharat vision, which too aims in “Clean India”, keeping the environment clean and green, building separate toilets for boys and girls, improving basic amenities at schools and public places. Both these missions appear to be great and it may provide healthy &  a clean environment at school improving the attendance at school.

The key areas of the Support My School campaign are as under:

  • Access to Toilets for students, especially for girls
  • Access to water
  • Access to sports
  • Library/Rainwater Harvesting
  • Environmental Upkeep
  • Additional impact elements were added with the help of partners
Support My School campaign has created  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. Many institutions, NGO’s,celebrities and eminent citizens of India have joined hands in this campaign with huge donations, pledging their services and all sorts of help to make the campaign worth.
The impact is strong & immense and has seen increased enrolment in schools from 6.95% (2013-14) to 14.77% (2014-15).
To know more about this campaign and be updated with the recent developments of the campaign, please visit the following links.
2. http://www.ndtv.com/supportmyschool/partners
3. http://www.ndtv.com/supportmyschool/donate
4. https://www.facebook.com/SupportMySchoolIndia/?fref=ts

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