Vishakhapatnam, October 16, 2017: In the recently concluded Swachhata Hi Seva Awards, under the Swachh Bharat Mission organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation at Amravathi, G.V.M.C KRK Primary School in Seethammapeta, Visakhapatnam was recognized as the best primary school in Andhra Pradesh. The school was revitalized under Coca-Cola’s Support My School (SMS) campaign, an initiative to build happy, healthy and active schools for students in rural and semi-urban areas in partnership with Plan India. The Chief Guest Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra, Pradesh Mr. Nara Chandra Babu Naidu in the presence of Ms. PV Sindhu, Ambassador of Swachh Andhra Mission, Mr. Nara Lokesh, Hon’ble Minister Panchayati Raj and other dignitaries presented the award to Head Mistress Ms. Baby Sarojini.
Under the Support My School initiative, in the last 6 years, we have had more than 50 partners in more than 20 states across India (To know more, visit http://www.coca-colaindia.com/together/support-my-school). In Andhra Pradesh alone, the SMS campaign has been able to revitalize over 60 schools. The GVMC KRK Primary School was provided with access to clean water, sanitation facilities for boys and girls, playgrounds and sports equipment and teaching aids including library.
Ms. Shubha Sekhar, Director and Head- CSR & Sustainability, Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia said, “We are committed to contributing to the Swachh Bharat initiative as an important aspect of our sustainability commitments, of which Support My School initiative is an integral part. We have been able to positively impact more than 2.5 lakh children across 900 schools. We feel proud to partner with Plan India who are supporting us in giving a conducive environment to school children.”
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India organized Swachhata Hi Seva, a mass mobilization campaign to reach the goal of Swachh Bharat from 15th September to 2nd October 2017, which also marked the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission.
Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said, “This award just encourages us to ensure that the project reaches more young lives and is able to create a larger impact. Our work on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) aims to ensure that children and communities have access to clean water and sanitary facilities. Working with schools, our programmes engage with students, informing them about personal hygiene. By providing access to WASH services, children and youth from excluded communities and urban slums are able to not only lead a better lifestyle but also attend school regularly. We are happy to partner with Coca-Cola India in this endeavor.”
The selection process was done by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Andhra Pradesh and Swachh Andhra Mission together. SSA identified list of best schools across the State which are eligible for the Swachh Bharat Award based on the School WASH infrastructure and its maintenance as well as the WASH practices by the children in the School. Based on the preliminary assessment, Swachh Andhra Mission visited these schools during second week of September for final assessment and declared four Schools from all over the State as the best schools under Swachh Bharat Mission, one of which was the GVMC KRK Primary School.
Accessibility to clean drinking water and sanitation issues in schools have always been big impediments, especially for a girl child to have access to the basic education in India; resulting in absenteeism and dropouts. The SMS campaign has been creating awareness about the conditions of schools in rural and semi-urban 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. The overall impact has seen increased enrolment in schools from 6.95% (2013-14) to 14.77% (2014-15).