Former India cricketer Suresh Raina has pledged to build sanitation and drinking water facilities at 34 government schools across Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and NCR.
Raina, who retired from international cricket on August 15 this year, has decided to ring in his 34th birthday on November 27 with a series of philanthropic activities in association with his NGO, the Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF), named after his daughter.
According to a statement, the initiative will ensure health and hygiene to over 10,000 children studying in these schools.
Raina, along with his wife Priyanka, a co-founder of the foundation kicked off his birthday week by inaugurating the upgraded drinking water facility, separate toilets for boys and girls, hand washing, dish washing area and smart classrooms at Govt Composite Middle School, Noor Nagar Sihani, Ghaziabad as part of the joint project of Gracia Raina Foundation and Yuva Unstoppable.
The couple also donated ration kits to 500 mothers from under privileged backgrounds.
“It brings me immense joy to celebrate my 34th birthday with this initiative. Every child deserves quality education, 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,” Raina said.
“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.”
The year-long initiative will be executed in collaboration with Amitabh Shah’s Yuva Unstoppable. Apart from the hygiene and sanitation facilities, Raina’s philanthropic endeavour will pay special emphasis to Right AGE, an adolescent reproductive and sexual health programme which will be rolled out in all the 34 schools, the release stated.
The foundation will also establish better access to smart classes for the students in these schools, it added.
The former player from Uttar Pradesh is also an ambassador of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat initiative.
Through the Gracia Raina Foundation, he will spearhead the Right Age Programme for adolescent girls and will also impart scientific knowledge through reproductive health workshops.
The young couple will also closely work with the students in four schools in their hometown Muradnagar.