Collaboration between Coco Cola, Indian television channel NDTV, UN-Habitat Charities Foundation, and Indian social service organization, Sulabh International, has resulted in the launch of a six-month campaign to promote better hygiene practices in rural and peri-urban Indian school. The initiative will help create 100 model schools in these areas that will have better basic amenities and infrastructure. The first school to be targeted was in a village in Haryana where the partners built hygienic sanitation facilities, created better access to water, and set up a rain water harvesting unit.

Beverages giant Coca Cola and television channel NDTV along with NGOs UN-Habitat, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Sulabh International, have launched the ‘Support My School’ initiative that aims to improve basic amenities in schools in rural and semi-urban towns.

The six-month long campaign aims to generate awareness about how lack of basic facilities result in high dropout rate among students, and create 100 model schools in villages and towns besides generating monetary resources for the schools.

Sachin Tendulkar, who has been roped as the brand ambassador of the campaign, on Monday unveiled the campaign and its logo along with Atul Singh, president and CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, and Prannoy Roy, chairman, NDTV.

Tendulkar also dedicated the first school under the campaign in Jhundpur village (Sonepat) of Haryana to the children. ”It is my belief that a multi-lateral partnership of this kind is an appropriate initiative to catalyse a movement towards building healthy, active and happy schools,” he said.

The initiative supported the Haryana school by aiding infrastructural work such as building hygienic sanitation facilities, setting up a rain water harvesting unit, providing improved access to water and renovating the sports grounds.

To fund the start of the initiative, Coca-Cola and UN-Habitat have pledged Rs1 crore each. The campaign over the next six months will raise further monetary resources from public including hosting a telethon hosted by Tendulkar in mid 2011.

”A child needs holistic nature of education. Hence to help set up such schools with enhanced facilities for holistic education, our primary focus of this campaign will be capacity building, promoting water conservation, sanitation and hygiene education,” said  Kulwant Singh, advisor, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Some of the activities to be undertaken as a part of this campaign will include 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 such as cricket, badminton and basketball courts, swings and recharging groundwater through rainwater harvesting.