P&G India, the Rs 1000 crore plus FMCG major, has tied up with Raj TV in Tamil Nadu for its 'Shiksha' project for the education of underprivileged children. Through the project, P&G will contribute a minimum of Rs 1 crore to CRY (Child Relief and You) for the cause. Other tie-ups of the company for the project are with Sony (Hindi), MAA TV (Telugu) and Asianet Plus (Malayalam).
"Each large pack of P&G's brands Tide, Ariel, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Rejoice, Vicks Vaporub and Pampers sold in April, May and June 2005 across India will help support one day's education of one child. And associates will help reach the message in aid of the cause," Chester Twigg, P&G's Director, Sales & Marketing, said the audience at a joint press conference in Chennai on Saturday. The minimum commitment from the company is irrespective of the sale of the brands.
On its part, Raj TV will appeal to viewers to support the cause. It will create and start airing promos on the project in a week's time, and has also lent the project an ambassador in the form of actress Dakshyani. She plays a caring housewife's character in its upcoming show, 'Mundhanai Mudichchu'. Rajeev Nambiar, CEO, Raj TV, said, "Reaching out the message to more children, parents and more homes means more people on the road to literacy. We have given the project a face and an ambassador in Tamil Nadu and will be working on creating euphoria around that to help the project."
Twigg added that P&G chose the cause of education over other social causes because of India being home to the largest number of illiterate children in the world. The fund generated through 'Shiksha' would be allocated by CRY to projects with a focus on education in the seven states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Maharashtra.
In the long-term, Nambiar believes the project will have an impact even on Television programming. He added, "The take out for the television industry is that with higher literacy and education, there will be a shift from the largely film-centric programming that presently exists across channels."
The project's visibility is being helped by the support of various personalities across the country including Kajol, Mandira Bedi, Perizaad Zorabian, Harsha Bhogle, Sania Mirza, Pallavi Joshi and Keerthi Reddy. At the press conference in Chennai, danseuse Anita Ratnam, actress-director Revathy Menon and actress Khushboo shared the dais and expressed support for 'Shiksha'.