In picture: Aishwarya Rai
The Coca-Cola NDTV 'Support My School' campaign raised pledges worth Rs.13.6 crore towards the revitalisation of 272 schools across India via a telethon led by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
The telethon, which marked the culmination of a six-month long fundraising drive, received pledges from several organisations and individuals alike, with significant contributions from donors such as Tetra Pak, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd, SRF Foundation and UN Habitat, towards raising the amount.
The Coca-Cola Foundation committed Rs.2.5 crore for the purpose.
For the first time ever, the 12-hour telethon which began 9 a.m. and finished at 9 p.m. was also being streamed live on Tendulkar's Facebook page and also on video sharing website YouTube.
The second edition of the 'Support My School' telethon, held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai was kicked off by Coca-Cola India & South West Asia president and CEO Atul Singh, NDTV India CEO Vikram Chandra, campaign ambassador Tendulkar and Aishwarya.
Several celebrities including Ayushmann Khurrana, Cyrus Broacha and Boman Irani also offered support and joined the telethon. Ajay Devgn and Kajol, who contributed in the first year also, joined in to help support the cause.
"Telethon 2013 has once again been an overwhelming experience with higher levels of enthusiasm and support for the 'Support My School' campaign than ever before. The campaign is very close to my heart and I am delighted at the response we have received this time from individuals and corporations alike," Tendulkar said.
Aishwarya expressed joy for being able to support the campaign.
"As a mother, I understand the urge to provide your child with the best opportunities available to help them grow and prosper. Every child deserves these opportunities, every girl needs to know that she herself is a beacon of hope and has the power to influence her future," she said.