Continuing its commitment towards the betterment of society, Bata, the European footwear brand today announced the launch of its unique CSR campaign the Ballerina Project’ at the Bata Store in South City mall in Kolkata. Focused on girl child empowerment, the Ballerina Project by Bata aims to create a substantial positive effect for social and economic fabric. The project will be initiated first in India in association with Project Nanhi Kali, an initiative which is jointly managed by the K.C Mahindra Education Trust and Naandi Foundation.
Ms. Christine Schmidt, Director, Bata Shoe Organization along with Ms. Sheetal Mehta, Trustee &Executive Director, K.C. Mahindra Education Trust and Mr. Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation announced the Ballerina Project by Bata to foster the education of disadvantaged girls in India in association with Project Nanhi Kali-which provides quality education to over 135,000 disadvantaged girls across India.
Ms. Schmidt is a multi-faceted personality. Besides being an active owner in her family’s footwear business, the Bata Shoe Organization, she is also member of the International Board of Advisors of Earth watch, a global NGO in the field of sustainable environment, and International Women’s Forum, working to connect women achievers across the world. Ms. Schmidt is also an external consultant to the board of Trent University.
For the project, Bata India has introduced specially designed Ballerinas created with eye-catching illustrations by children from schools adopted by the Bata Children’s Programme (BCP), a global programme for disadvantaged children. These drawings have been selected from a theme-based drawing competition organised by BCP adopted schools across 30 countries for children in the age group of 6-8 years. The shortlisted drawings have been incorporated in the inner sole of specially created Ballerinas for the project. 7 styles of these select Ballerinas will now be available across 200+ stores in India. With each pair of these special Ballerinas sold, Bata will provide INR 65 to Project Nanhi Kali for one year.
With the money provided through the Bata Ballerina Project,Nanhi Kali will provide the girls with 360-degree educational support through academic support classes where trained tutors will engage them in concept based learning. In addition, a school supplies kit comprising of a schoolbag, books, uniforms and even feminine hygiene material will be given to every girl, thereby allowing her to attend school with dignity.
“In its 124-year-old history, Bata has contributed positively in changing the lives of millions of people across the world through various global as well as social initiatives. The Bata Children’s Program was officially launched to bring all these initiatives under one umbrella. Bata Ballerina project helps us raise awareness and contribute in a meaningful way towards the education of girl children in India Bata Ballerina Project will help us sensitize parents and communities about the importance of girl child education. With this initiative, Bata hopes to secure a brighter future for these girls by reducing school dropouts, increasing attendance and improving learning levels through the Nanhi Kali intervention”said Ms. Schmidt speaking on the initiative.
“We are delighted that progressive organizations like Bata recognize the multifold, long term benefits of investing in girls’ education. Project Nanhi Kali is currently supporting over 135,000 underprivileged girls from some of the most deprived regions across 11 states in India. We are grateful to Bata for selecting Project Nanhi Kali as their partner on the Ballerina Project. This will enable us to reach out to many more girls in need of support.”said Ms. Sheetal Mehta speaking on the initiative.
Bata India is committed to the cause of the empowerment of the girl child and is already working towards this through various programmes such as adolescent healthcare workshops, computer and science education, sports, etc. Through these programmes girls are encouraged and supported to gain confidence and work towards their promising future. Separate sessions are held with the parents of these girls to help them continue education and reduce drop outs. The Ballerina Project in association with Nanhi Kali is yet another step in this direction.