New Delhi : Former India cricketer Suresh Raina, who will turn 34 this Friday, has pledged to build sanitation and drinking water facilities at 34 government schools across Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and the National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure health and hygiene for over 10,000 children studying in these schools. The year-long initiative will be executed by his NGO, the Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF), in collaboration with Amitabh Shah’s ‘Yuva Unstoppable’. Apart from the hygiene and sanitation facilities, Raina’s endeavour will pay special emphasis to Right AGE, an adolescent reproductive and sexual health program which will be rolled out in all 34 schools.
The foundation will also establish better access to smart classes for the students in these schools, a release from the foundation stated. “It brings me immense joy to celebrate my 34th birthday with this initiative. Every child deserves quality education and this includes their right to have access to safe and clean drinking water and toilet facilities in schools. I hope we can contribute to this with Gracia Raina Foundation collaborating with Yuva Unstoppable,” said Raina. “It is truly humbling to see the upgraded facilities benefiting thousands of kids. This is an excellent start and we look forward to transforming many more schools in the future. There was no better way I could have celebrated my birthday, it was a truly heartwarming experience,” he added.
Through the foundation, Raina and his wife will spearhead the Right Age Program which is targeted at adolescent girls and will also impart scientific knowledge through reproductive health workshops. The couple will also work with the students in four schools in their hometown Muradnagar, including those which were attended by Priyanka and Suresh themselves. The former Indian cricketer has been associated with the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and he was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 to be the Swachh Bharat Ambassador in Uttar Pradesh. “We are looking forward to working with Gracia Raina Foundation to upgrade better wash and sanitation facilities in schools,” said Amitabh Shah.