Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar support child education
Mumbai, Feb 4 : Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday led Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School campaign to record fund-raising of over Rs 7 crore for rural schools.
The second edition of the Support My School Telethon, held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai, was kicked off by Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, Vikram Chandra, CEO, NDTV India, campaign ambassador Sachin and Aishwarya.
Sachin and Aishwarya led the 12-hour telethon which raised funds and pledges for the revitalization of schools.
The pledges raised for Season 2 were twice the amount raised for season 1 of the Support My School Campaign.
For the first time ever, the 12-hour Support My School Telethon was also LIVE streamed on Sachin's Facebook page (which is the world's biggest cricketing community with 9.2 million people) and also on video sharing website YouTube.
This allowed viewers who currently don't have access to TV to use their handheld devices, log onto Sachin's Facebook page and donate generously towards making a positive difference in the lives of the students across the country.
Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School Telethon 2013 raised pledges worth Rs. 7 crore (as of 5 pm on Sunday evening) towards revitalization of 250 schools in rural and semi-urban regions in over 10 states in Season 2 of the Support My School campaign.
The state of West Bengal will see the campaign revitalize 16 schools.
In Season 1, the campaign successfully completed revitalization initiatives in more than 100 schools, thereby touching the lives of over 43,000 students, with reduced absenteeism and increase in enrollments, especially amongst girls, as a result.
This season, the leading donors to the campaign were Tetra Pak (Rs. 20 lakh), Bharti Walmart, SRF Foundation (Rs. 10 lakh) and UN-Habitat (Rs. 94 lakh).
One of the major supporters of the campaign, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCBPL) contributed Rs. 25 lakh to the campaign.
The Coca-Cola Foundation committed Rs. 2.5 crore towards the same.
At the launch of Season 2 of the campaign, NGOs Plan and World Vision along with The Coca-Cola Foundation had jointly committed USD 1 million for 100 schools.
Some of the schools funded through this drive were also inaugurated live in Jaipur and Lucknow.
Based on the success and impact, World Vision and Plan, further pledged to raise and commit funds for 50 schools.
Several celebrities including Ayushman Khurana, Cyrus Broacha, Boman Irani also offered support and joined the telethon.
Bollywood's star couple Ajay Devgan and Kajol, who contributed in the first year also, joined in year 2 to help support the cause.
Celebrities across India supported the cause by joining hands to spread the word and offer opportunities to children in rural schools.
South superstar Nagarjuna presented films by his school AISFM along with children of the rural schools of Hyderabad region.
Renowned Indian athlete PT Usha travelled to rural Sonepat as part of the Speedstar campaign to unearth athletic talent for India.
Speaking at the event, Sachin said, "Telethon 2013 has once again been an overwhelming experience with higher levels of enthusiasm and support for the Support My School campaign than ever before.
"The campaign is very close to my heart and I am delighted at the response we have received this time from individuals and corporations alike."
Singh said, "The contributions raised at the Telethon 2013 will go a long way in fulfilling our vision for season 2 and bring more children back to where they belong...in schools."
Aishwarya said, "Being on this platform today gives me great pleasure. As a mother, I understand the urge to provide your child with the best opportunities available to help them grow and prosper. Every child deserves these opportunities, every girl needs to know that she herself is a beacon of hope and has the power to influence her future.
"Every support and encouragement from our viewers, campaign partners, donors and more, is crucial to the future success of this campaign. So thank you, to everyone." --IBNS