- The 360-degree initiative was launched 2 months back, to drive awareness and trigger collective action towards bridging invisible learning gaps in education
- Since its launch in 2005, P&G Shiksha has continued to make holistic educational interventions, impacting over 35 lakh children across the country
P&G Shiksha, the flagship CSR program of P&G India, recently began a first-of-its-kind nationwide movement to highlight a hidden issue in children’s education across the country – an ‘Invisible Gap’. When a child falls behind and their current learning level is not in line with the expected learning level as per the defined curriculum, an invisible learning gap is formed.
The movement was flagged off with a high-octane 360-degree campaign which began on April 20 and over the next 6 weeks, has continued to garner high engagement from varied stakeholders. The 360-degree campaign began with a thought-provoking panel discussion centered around the theme of ‘Bridging Invisible Gaps’ featuring National Award-Winning Actress, Shefali Shah Girish Kalyanaraman, Vice President – Brand Operations, P&G India; Ritesh Agarwal, Assistant Vice President, Educational Initiatives; and Sagar Singh, Faculty Mathematics, Gov. High School Banah Ki Ser, Sirmour (HP). On the day, P&G Shiksha also unveiled a first-of-its-kind film which highlighted the crisis of ‘Invisible Gap’ through the heartwarming story of Bindiya, a young girl who is impacted by the invisible gap and struggles to cope in the classroom.
Studies indicate that students in schools often fall behind in keeping pace with their classes. One concept, one subject, one class, can give way to a larger issue where the child develops a gap in the fundamental conceptual understanding, called the invisible learning gap.
This nationwide movement was therefore dedicated to making these invisible gaps visible, by driving awareness and urging collective action to bridge these invisible gaps, which often go unnoticed and create a significant roadblock in a child’s learning and development progress.
Speaking about the success of the overall campaign, Girish Kalyanaraman, Vice President – Marketing Operations, P&G India said, “We are happy that the movement we began to make invisible gaps visible, a few weeks ago, has already garnered widespread reach and a heartwarming response across India. While we continue to work tirelessly with our partners on the ground to address the learning gaps via various programs, what gladdens me the most is knowing that our efforts to uncover this hidden issue will significantly impact children across the country who may be silently impacted by it. I am proud that today it has brought together individuals, communities, and organizations to address the #InvisibleGap. P&G Shiksha has continued to provide access to education to millions of underprivileged children since its inception 18 years ago and remain steadfast in our commitment towards playing our role in the social growth of the country.”
He added, “This has been a movement towards igniting a nationwide dialogue to drive change. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has actively participated and supported the cause, unlocking the power of collective action. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of these children.”
To drive the intended awareness and urge collective action to bridge invisible gaps, P&G Shiksha leveraged multiple platforms and touchpoints across the country in a three-pronged manner. This included:
Engagement for Awareness: P&G Shiksha focused on proactively engaging with people across the country to bring up the issue of invisible gaps and create a ripple effect that amplifies awareness, promotes meaningful dialogue, and inspires action to address the issue at hand. This included:
- A captivating sand-art at a beach in Puri, in Odisha, by renowned sand-artist and Padma Shri Awardee – Sudarsan Pattnaik that depicted a hidden girl, creating buzz and curiosity to kick start the initiative.
- A unique virtual reality tour which transported people to a P&G Shiksha supported school in a scenic village in Himachal Pradesh, using a virtual reality device, where people could meet the students and the teachers at the school and hear their stories of overcoming the invisible learning gap.
- A compelling art-installation of a girl hiding behind a desk at what appears to be a classroom, to showcase how learning gaps impact children.
- Power-packed nukkad-nataks to simplify the issue of learning gaps and drive awareness on the ways it manifests itself in children.
Partner Engagement: P&G Shiksha leveraged the long-standing associations of P&G India with several renowned brands, who came together in an unprecedented manner and lent the power of their voices to create collective awareness on invisible gaps. As part of this:
- To amplify the impact of this campaign, reach a wider audience, and spark a transformative shift in attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions surrounding the issue, brands like Swiggy Instamart, Apollo Pharmacy, Hero Lectro E-cycles, Amazon India, and Sunstone among others, tweaked their brand logos on social media. The new visual depicted Bindiya, the protagonist of the campaign, hiding behind the logos to spotlight the impact invisible gaps cast on a child’s confidence.
- Further, large shopping stores like Apollo Pharmacy, Vishal Mega Mart and D-Mart prominently and visibly highlighted the issue of learning gaps at the store, in an endeavour to create intrigue in the minds of the shoppers and motivate them to learn more about the issue.
- Heart-warming thank-you notes shared by children positively impacted by P&G Shiksha’s educational interventions. These notes were sent along with every P&G product that consumers ordered online on e-commerce channels like Swiggy Instamart during the campaign. Several consumers took to social media to share these notes with unique Instagram filters developed specially for driving awareness on invisible gaps.
Urging Collective Action: P&G Shiksha highlighted that while several interventions are being implemented on ground to bridge invisible learning gaps by varied stakeholders, taking collective action to tackle this issue is the need of the hour. It further highlighted that collective action is needed to ensure that every child in India receives an education that empowers them to build a better future for themselves and their communities. As part of this, the campaign offered multiple ways to people in which they can join the cause. As part of this:
- P&G Shiksha encouraged people to identify learning gaps in children around them, by helping them take a unique baseline assessment, which it developed and made accessible to everyone as part of the #InvisibleGap campaign, in collaboration with its digital remedial learning program implementing partner – Educational Initiatives. The assessment intends to enable everyone in the country to identify learning gaps in children around them in a timely manner.
- Further, upon completion of the assessment and identification of a learning gap, P&G Shiksha recommended various remedial measures that parents/guardians can avail to bridge the invisible gap in children. This included a free 7-day trial of Educational Initiative’s digital remedial learning tool – Mindspark.
P&G India’s flagship CSR program, P&G Shiksha, has been working to provide access to education to underprivileged children since 2005. Since then, the Program has continued to make holistic educational interventions, impacting over 35 lakh children across the country.
As part of this, to improve learning outcomes in children, P&G Shiksha leverages AI-backed technology with ‘Mindspark’, a computer-based adaptive learning tool, in partnership with Educational Initiatives. The program also implements on-ground remedial learning interventions in partnership with Pratham Education Foundation, using both community-based and in-school models supported by trained volunteers and teachers. Additionally, P&G Shiksha focuses on early childhood education through Pratham Education Foundation, developing motor, cognitive, social-emotional, language, and creative skills in children for a strong foundation as they begin school.
The new campaign film is a compelling story of Bindiya, who is impacted by the invisible gap and struggles to cope in the classroom. Through various instances in school, the teacher notices that Bindya is either missing, or she slides out of sight, almost deliberately trying to mischievously hide. While evaluating the children’s answer sheets, the teacher spots Bindiya’s sheet where all the questions remain unanswered. Thus continues a game of hide and seek between the teacher and Bindiya, until he finally spots her hiding beneath a desk and confronts her calmly on why she is hiding. Bindiya reveals that she is afraid of questions, and if she is not visible in the class, the teacher will not be able to ask her any questions.
About P&G Shiksha Launched in 2005, P&G Shiksha is P&G India’s flagship CSR initiative which focuses on providing holistic education for underprivileged children through a 360-degree educational intervention. Over time, P&G Shiksha has evolved into a holistic education program that aims to improve learning outcomes in children, strengthen educational infrastructure and empower marginalized girls through education. In 18 years since inception, the Program has supported over 3000 schools to impact more than 35 lakh children.
About P&G India 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®. Please visit in.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G India and its brands.