Cast of ‘Inkaar’ champion the cause of Support My School campaign

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Arjun Rampal, Chitrangada Singh, Sudhir Mishra and other cast and crew of Inkaar today visited the Anuyog Vidyalaya in Khar (East), Mumbai to meet and interact with students of the school, who welcomed the cast with self-made portraits of the lead actors. The visit drew attention to the various levels of struggles encountered by women in India, a theme which is highlighted in the movie. The cast answered questions around the theme of sexual harassment in the film and the challenges faced by women in various spheres of daily life across the country. This struggle crops up at the earliest age for girls in India, right from the lack of basic provisions of sanitation and drinking water in schools which force her to dropout at the incidence of puberty.

Cast and crew of the movie went on to pledge support for the Coca-Cola NDTV Support My School campaign which has been championing the cause of education for the girl child by revitalizing schools in rural and semi-urban areas with basic amenities such as access to clean drinking water and separate toilets for boys and girls. The campaign was launched in January, 2011 post the findings of a study on rural and semi-urban schools which highlighted marked absenteeism and dropout amongst female students at the incidence of puberty, due to lack of basic sanitation facilities in their schools. Support My School is a campaign which has recognized this fundamental yet crucial gap and helps bridge it by creating a holistic learning environment for the girl child to continue to study and find her rightful place with dignity and equality.

Actor Arjun Rampal, who has earlier been part of the campaign at the Support My School Telethon held in 2011, interacted with students at the school about the challenges and opportunities available to them. “The education system in our country does offer many challenges but initiatives like Support My School are instrumental in creating a radical shift. It is your responsibility to avail this opportunity in the best way possible by attaining education and building a successful future for yourself. I strongly believe that the inequality between men and women in this country can only be eradicated by addressing the issue at the earliest levels, as is being done by the Support My School campaign with its focus on the girl child.”

Actress Chitrangada Singhinteracted with students on the challenges faced by women in the country, right from schooling to their work environment. “Everyday in this country, we hear instances of women degradation and segregation. The root cause for her struggle starts right at this very early age with lack of basic amenities which manage to create a wedge between boys and girls. This inequality has seeped into our national conscious, so much so that even within today’s work environment she is not free from it. “Inkaar” aims to bring out this struggle within the workplace. I am proud to see that initiatives such as Support My School have been instrumental in highlighting as well as addressing the same at the school level. I congratulate the entire team for their effort and success over the last 2 years”, she said.

Speaking at the event, Coca-Cola Spokesperson said, “Support My School campaign has always held a special focus for the girl child as we believe that she faces some of the toughest challenges and environments which hinder her growth and affront her dignity. With the successful completion of Season 1 of the campaign in June, 2011, Support My School is now set to revitalize another 250 schools over Season 2. The Support My School Telethon, a 12-hour event set to air LIVE on 3rd February, will help raise pledges and contributions towards this season. With the tremendous success of the previous Telethon, we are confident of achieving continued support from across individuals and organizations.”

Bottomline Media Pvt Ltd ( agency that worked on the collaboration and who works very closely with Coca Cola team), /Managing Director/Founder Tanaaz Bhatia said” We are happy to be part of such a good cause. It is important to encourage girl child to get an education to empower herself with necessary tools to take on life. With Support my school it gives every girl a chance to empower themselves with konwlegde and prepare for the hurdles and tasks in real world.

Coca-Cola joined hands with NDTV to launch Support My School in association with UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Pearson Foundation and Tata Teleservices. It undertakes the following core activities:
– Provision of improved access to water
– Appropriate sanitation facility for girls and boys
– Improvement in the overall infrastructure and environment
– Provision for sports and recreation facilities and
– Recharging groundwater through rainwater harvesting
– Libraries and Teacher Training by Pearson Foundation
– Computer Center by Tata Teleservices

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 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.

About Coca-Cola and Citizenship
The Coca-Cola Company has always placed high value on good citizenship. At the heart of business is a mission statement called the Coca-Cola Promise – “The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone that it touches. ”This basic proposition means – that the company’s business should refresh the markets, protect, preserve and enhance the environment and strengthen the community. Coca-Cola India provides extensive support for community programs across the country, with a focus on education, health and water conservation.

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