Education in India has, is, and will be a matter of considerable concern, and this is specifically because of the rate of illiteracy, which is still rampant in India. According to a report by the Census of India in 2013, over 74% of Indians are literate, but that leaves a whopping quarter of this country devoid of education. Now, there are several reasons for it, and the most common ones are as follows:
- Lack of education of parents result in children not being able to go to school to study.
- High rates of dropout from primary schools, because children are pushed into work to earn a living.
- It is difficult to reach to the school from the residence of the individual.
- Also, the children of illiterate people might not be able to understand the value of education, and they may see it as a waste of time.
- A community’s religious beliefs might not allow children to study, which is especially true about the women of the community.
- Unhygienic sanitation and schools sometimes create a platform for absolutely disastrously contagious diseases.
- Many times, the lack of toilets or other such facilities create a problem for the students who might have to use it during school hours.
However, due to the lack of education, parents and children are unable to get access to many modern facilities or ideas, which they could perhaps have had, if they had read about the details, and how to go about applying for them. The lack of proper sanitation and drinking water is a major issue in many parts of India, and it is still a vast and difficult topic to address.
However, in order to deal with the issue of illiteracy, Coca-Cola India and NDTV joined forces to start the ‘Support My School’ campaign (SMS), with several other parties involved, including UN-Habitat and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). The aim of this particular project was to find the villages some proper sanitation and drinking water facilities, and also create an environment suitable to start a school. Started in 2011, the initiative grew in its momentum and started raising money for different projects it conducted. Partners like Plan India, SRF Foundation, Worldvision India, and other such influential parties have joined to make this project a roaring success.
With the help of these influential groups, several improvements have been noted. The Support My School campaign helped gain a considerable amount of funds, which were used to re-vitalize about 600 schools in and around the country. The group is now taking up a Mission 1000 challenge, which means, the brand would be supporting 1000 schools and revitalize them, by providing sanitation facilities, creating playgrounds, and separate toilets for boys and girls, so that women do not feel awkward with men around, and, as a result, does not drop out. This has created a major impact in the village and district level, and has attracted the attention of many who are intent on improving the situation considerably. About 200,000 students have been helped so far, and the number of attendance in these schools have grown, which shows, this particular method works!
Support My School helps to give power to the people in the country from a lower strata. The provision of water and sanitation-related liquids might go a long way in bringing about a change in history, and make sure that India is, soon, 100% literate.