Editor’s Note: This post is the seventh in a new series highlighting cause marketing campaigns from around the world called ‘Global Voices’ and brought to you by Your Public Interest Registry. We hope our team of international contributors will shed insights into cause marketing in their home country and inspire you to expand your own purpose-driven horizons.
Hindustan Times (HT) is one of India’s most circulated English newspaper. In April 2012 HT launched the ‘You Read They Learn’ (YRTL) initiative which aims to support education of underprivileged children. HT sets aside 5 paise from its sales* in Delhi and National Capital region every day.
HT has partnered with two leading NGOs – CRY and Pratham for this initiative. In the first year of YRL HT has helped send 14,000 children to school. This initiative was recently launched in the city of Mumbai.
Eminent Indian celebrities like cricketer Gautam Gambhir and actor Abhishek Bachchan have supported YRTL as ambassadors.
Reader engagement and awareness is an important component of this campaign. HT regularly publishes stories about issues that underprivileged children face with respect to education. For its Mumbai launch HT printed an ‘Early learning’ text book in its Mumbai edition on August 27, 2013 which readers could cut out and share with an underprivileged child in their vicinity.
This campaign also involved massive online and offline engagement where people donated books. More than 8100 textbooks were collected by school students in a large scale collection drive in Mumbai. A social media campaign helped raise pledges for 11,000 textbooks through facebook and twitter. HT leverages its media prowess to promote the initiative across print, television, outdoor and digital media.
YRTL is in its second year and has already scaled to 2 cities and will perhaps continue to scale with its success. The campaign could have been more transparent by reporting the amount of money generated and a little more could have been shared about how the funds are being used.
*A paise is to an Indian rupee as a cent is to a US dollar and the cost of a newspaper is Rs. 4 ( about $ 0.06).