In yet another CSR initiative, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently launched the Cricket for Good campaign in association with UNICEF and BCCI. The campaign will focus upon bringing positive social changes with the help of cricket. ICC chose India as the launching pad of this social initiative and started Team Swachh which is the first collaboration in the series between ICC and UNICEF.
It is a five-year long partnership which was announced in October last year in New York. ICC along with UNICEF aims to create awareness among children in all the countries where cricket is a popular sport with their Cricket for Good initiative.
In a country like India where cricket is regarded as another religion, ICC wishes to build a social movement for sanitation and toilet use, thereby leading to an open defecation-free India. And who better than the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, himself to kick-start the campaign by playing a ball or two. Sachin Tendulkar is also the UNICEF goodwill regional ambassador for south Asia, a complete win-win situation.
ICC chief executive David Richarson, UNICEF regional director for South Asia Karin Hulshof and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur were also present at the event.
Sadly India has the largest number of people still defecating in open (more than 564 million) and hence such an initiative is more than welcome. Poor sanitation and lack of awareness cause dangerous diseases such as diarrhea. In India, more than 300 children, below five years, die every day because of this deadly disease. With a focus on improving sanitation in the country, the partnership will strengthen the Team Swachh campaign conceptualised by the UNICEF-WASH United alliance.
The event was held at The Lalit, New Delhi on January 18.
Text and images by Supriya Aggarwal