A Good ‘Corporate Citizen’ Improving Lives Through Education
P&G serves consumers in India with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Vicks ®, Ariel®, Tide®, Whisper®, Olay®, Gillette®, AmbiPur®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Oral-B®, Head & Shoulders® and Old Spice®. P&G operates through 3 entities in India of which 2 are listed on NSE & BSE. The listed P&G entities are: ‘Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited’ and ‘Gillette India Limited’, whereas the unlisted entity (which is a 100% subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S) operates by the name ‘Procter & Gamble Home Products Ltd.’ In the last 12 years, P&G’s signature CSR program P&G Shiksha has built and supported 1000 schools that will impact the lives of 10,00,000 underprivileged children across the country by providing them with access to education.
At P&G, being a good Corporate Citizen means making every day better for people through how we innovate and how we act. As the world’s largest consumer products Company, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to do the right thing and create social change. This strategy has inspired an enduring CSR strategy of supporting the cause of Education via our CSR program – ‘P&G Shiksha’. P&G Shiksha, since its commencement in 2005, provides children from underprivileged backgrounds with an access to a holistic education.
P&G’s signature corporate sustainability program P&G Shiksha has till date built and supported over 1 thousand schools across the country that will impact the lives of over 1 million children, in partnership with a number of NGOs like – Round Table India (RTI), Pratham Foundation, Save the Children, Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA), Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) amongst others. These partners serve as specialists, lending their expertise to particular aspects of the education system. RTI, for example, is dedicated to constructing educational infrastructure and supporting schools across India. Save the Children focuses on girl child’s education by aiding government funded programs like the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV). Pratham has special expertise in remedial learning to help bring children up to speed with the learning levels in their curriculum. Similarly, the NGOs AWWA and NWWA are experts in serving the educational needs of disabled children and those who are affected by natural disasters.
P&G Shiksha has till date made a cumulative donation of over INR 80 crores towards building new schools, providing critical infrastructural amenities at existing schools or reviving non-operational government schools. Additionally, P&G Shiksha now strongly focusing on learning and quality of education that has emerged as a big gap in the Education System as per the ASER report.
Focus on Girl-Child Education
Save the Children in partnership with P&G Shiksha continues to empower marginalized girls through education and all round development. In Rajasthan and Jharkhand, we support Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) that focus on education and overall development of the girl children. These two states have high drop-out rates for girl children. Additionally, Baal Sansads and School Management Committees (SMCs) have also been strengthened through capacity building of its members. These initiatives have thus resulted in a positive change in the overall environment of KGBVs. For example, teachers have started taking initiatives in practicing innovative pedagogical methods (such as promoting an effective use of the library facility, project work, story building as well as an overall better planning and execution of multi- level teaching).
Focus on Education at Manufacturing Sites
P&G continues to impact the communities around its plants in a holistic manner throughout the Financial Year. At Goa, in association with Matruchhaya, a local public charitable trust, P&G is providing educational and infrastructural support to a school for the orphaned, destitute and abandoned children. The P&G Baddi plant continues its association with Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (“HPVHA”) with Lodhimajra Village School in order to make infrastructure additions to school while organizing health check-ups for the students. In Mandideep, P&G is building on its association with Arushi, a local NGO, to provide infrastructure, nutrition and hygiene support to the Satlapur Government School. P&G Shiksha has also enabled the school with construction of a boundary wall, refurbishment of the roof, health and eye check-up for students, construction of toilets and nutrition supplement by providing fruits along with mid-day meals. At about 20 km from the Bhiwadi Plant, in association with IBTADA, a local NGO, P&G Shiksha continues its association with a local school to promote the education of girl children in Gwalda village. The students are provided holistic support in the form of uniforms, library, meals, infrastructure, recreational activities & study tours. For the second consecutive year, the initiative has received a prestigious recognition with the Bhamashah award by the Rajasthan Government for outstanding contribution in promoting education and creating a transformational change in the lives of young girl children.
P&G Shiksha Upgrade ‘From Learning Outlay to Learning Outcome’
P&G started its flagship CSR program ‘P&G Shiksha’ in 2005 and in line with the need of the hour ‘educational infrastructure’, over the last decade, P&G made infrastructure interventions to provide underprivileged children with an access to education. More recently, after consulting with thought leaders in education, we realized that learning levels of students emerged as a huge gap. For example, in a lot of schools, the learning levels (language and arithmetic) of students in Grade 5 could be that of Grade 3 or sometimes even Grade 2 or 1. This results in children dropping out as they nor their parents see the value in keeping them in school. Hence we identified the need for learning effectiveness and upgraded P&G Shiksha program to focus more on learning outcomes versus learning outlay. We focused on two areas that we felt would result in the maximum impact on learning levels. These were:
- Remedial Learning camps for coaching outside of school
- Early Childhood Education to set children up for success when they enter school.
P&G partnered with Pratham Foundation in their ‘Read India’ program that focuses on remedial learning via learning camps and aims to bring school children up to the curriculum of their respective standards in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The results were phenomenal, we reached out to more than 500 schools and 18,000 children and saw the learning levels in the schools rise at the end of the year following our interventions.
Before the intervention, only 20% children in these schools who were able to read and write as per their curriculum level, which increased to 70% after our intervention. Similarly, there was more than a two-fold increase in the percentage of children who were able to do basic arithmetic after our intervention.
P&G also identified ‘Early Childhood Education’ as a key opportunity area in the educational landscape of the country. The program builds the capability of Anganwadi workers in order to develop motor and cognitive skills in children so that they are set for a fast paced growth once they start going to school. We launched the program in Bihar and Maharashtra through Pratham’s partnership with the Government (ICDS), to impact early childhood learning in Anganwadi centers to strengthen school readiness in children. At the end of the year, to assess their level of development, children were asked to do several tasks like matching shapes, ability to trace shapes to recognize a number, ability to tell their name and family background. The results were overwhelming, 80% children in the intervention groups had competent motor skills (ability to draw, hold a pencil, colour within a shape etc.) versus 42% in the comparison groups. Similarly, the cognitive competence of the children in intervention groups was more than two-fold than that of comparison groups.
We are encouraged by the results on our new areas of focus and are all set to strengthen the Shiksha Upgrade by expanding these programs across more states as per their respective needs in the future. Since the government has highlighted ‘quality of education’ as one of the key focus areas for country’s growth in the next decade, P&G is well poised to play an active role in the India Success Story.