India – Launch of school sanitation campaign

MUMBAI: Senior India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has joined hands with NDTV and Coca Cola to improve sanitation in rural India through “Support My School” campaign which was launched on Monday.

“I cannot digest that because of no proper toilets, girls drop out of schools. Education is very important for every child and I am extremely happy and privileged to be part of this campaign. Everyone should support this cause,” Tendulkar, who launched the campaign as its brand ambassador, said.

“There are a lot of experienced people to take this campaign forward but it boils down to financial contribution without which things cannot be achieved,” he added.
He also interacted with children from a school in Jhundpur village in Sonepat, Haryana through video conference after the institute was attached with the campaign.

“We will try and do our best but it’s up to the almighty,” he answered when a boy asked him whether India can win the World Cup commencing on February 19.

Tendulkar said he did not look to create any new record when he steps on the field.

“I just go out and play. Records come on their own,” the Mumbaikar, who has a mind-boggling 51 Test tons to his credit, said.

Tendulkar also advised the children to love the work they choose to do in life.

“Enjoy whatever you do in life. When you play cricket, football or hockey, enjoy what you are doing. You will see improvement on your own,” he said.

Union Minister of Telecom and Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, spoke via the video conference at the function and lauded the move to rope in Tendulkar for the campaign.

“There could not be a better brand ambassador than Sachin, who is looked up to by young people,” he said.

“You have had a long innings as a cricketer showing superhuman qualities of endurance and have got 51 centuries. If you show the same qualities, you will get same kind of results,” Sibal said of Tendulkar.

The ‘Support My School’ initiative is done in partnership with UNHABITAT, CAF India and Sulabh International and at the launch of the campaign Coca-Cola India and UNHABITAT pledged Rs one crore for the cause.

Besides improving sanitation in schools across India, the campaign would also focus on infrastructural development, improved access to clean drinking water, renovating the grounds to promote physical sports and recreation, building a green environment and equipping schools for rain water harvesting.

Contributions from the public would be also garnered through the campaign and during the telethon to be hosted by Tendulkar in mid 2011, it was announced.

Web site: Coca Cola NDTV Support My School

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