Yash Bhatia

P&G Shiksha aims to eliminate ‘Invisible Gap’ in Indian education system

We spoke to Girish Kalyanaraman, VP – brand operations, P&G India, about the new campaign.

Procter & Gamble India has launched a campaign under its CSR initiative P&G Shiksha, to address the glooming lack of confidence among children in an educational setting.

Titled ‘Bridging the Invisible Gap’, the campaign is conceptualised and created by Leo Burnett. Invisible gap refers to children’s voluntary behaviour to evade any academic discourse that seeks their participation.

The film is the story of ‘Bindiya’, who’s impacted by this invisible gap and struggles to cope in classroom activities. Bindiya is either missing or deliberately trying to mischievously hide.

Girish Kalyanaraman, VP – brand operations, P&G India, says that the key insight leading to the campaign, was the inability of many kids to keep up with their school curriculum.

“We started P&G Shiksha as a program to build schools across India in line with the government’s mission. We’ve observed that often, children struggle to keep up with what’s taught in the class. A concept, subject, class give way to a larger issue in which a child falls behind. This eventually gives rise to a learning gap.”

“By spotlighting the story of Bindiya, P&G Shiksha is shining a spotlight on this pertinent issue and different ways in which it manifests. Like Bindiya, six crore children feel left behind in class and experience a learning gap that has led to ‘learning crisis’ in India. We aim to make this #InvisibleGap visible, by creating awareness and urging meaningful action,” adds Kalyanaraman.

Since 2005, P&G India has been on a mission to create access to holistic education for underprivileged children. In 2022, the company launched a campaign, titled ‘The Story of Sushila’, to highlight the role education plays in fulfilling dreams and turning them into reality.

How does P&G come up with the insight for an ad each year?

Kalyanaraman responds, “At P&G, everything we do starts with the consumer. Through the story of Bindiya, we want to reach out to parents and guardians. We want to drive awareness and urge collective meaningful action. The process of insight depends on surveys, consumer interactions and social media conversations.”

As per the National Achievement Survey 2021, over six crore primary school students were found to have learning levels lower than appropriate for their grades. The learning gaps significantly impact children, who perpetually keep trying to cope and, without the right support system, drop out of school or degree that hinders them from achieving their dreams.

Rajdeepak Das, CEO & CCO, Leo Burnett – South Asia, highlights, “Invisible gaps are universal and can impact any child. The privileged and affluent households have the resources to identify learning gaps and address them. Whereas, lesser privileged families find it challenging to do so.”

Many brands are supporting this noble cause. 15 brands, including Amazon India, Swiggy, Hero Cycles, Pantene and Tide, have helped in creating buzz around the Bindiya, by adding a hidden girl visual to their logos in the week leading up to the film’s launch. Sudarshan Pattnaik, a renowned sand artist, has dedicated sand art to the cause, with the aim of inspiring people to act and do their bit in identifying learning gaps.

Pgshop.com, a gifting platform, is sending sweet messages from students who’ve benefited from P&G Shiksha on-ground programs, along with orders. In some cities, this is being done on orders of P&G products across Swiggy Instamart and Apollo.

P&G Shiksha is also urging people to take collective action. One can log on to www.pgshiksha.com/assessment and join the movement. There’s a short assessment on the website to identify learning gaps. If the test identifies a learning gap, one can take relevant actions, including a free trial of Mindspark remedial learning tool that’s available through NGO partners educational initiatives.

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