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When Sudhanshu Vats, Raj Nayak and Shereen Bhan went out of job on Teachers Day
www.afaqs.com, 6 September, 2016


When Sudhanshu Vats, Raj Nayak and Shereen Bhan went out of job on Teachers Day...

To commemorate the day, The Akanksha Foundation, an NGO, as well as brands such as The Viral Fever, Paper Boat, Rajnigandha Silver Pearls, and Google paid tribute to teachers in their own special way.

Ii is often said that teaching is a profession that makes all other professions possible. While a vocation so noble does not need a designated day to be celebrated, people observe Teachers Day to express their gratitude towards those who taught them life's important lessons. In India, Teachers Day was celebrated yesterday, September 5, and brands, at their creative best, latched on to the party.

The Akanksha Foundation, an NGO based in Mumbai and Pune, came up with an innovative campaign titled 'Job Switch' that involved well-known names from various professions, some from the media fraternity as well. The aim was to encourage professionals to take the time out from their busy schedules and volunteer to teach students at the Foundation, even if for a short while.

As part of the initiative, the NGO had media personalities such as Sudhanshu Vats (Group CEO, Viacom18), Raj Nayak (CEO, Colors), Shereen Bhan (managing editor - CNBC TV-18), Hrishikesh Kannan (radio producer and host at Radio One 94.3), life coach and fitness guru Mickey Mehta, Pooja Dhingra (Owner, Le15 Patisserie Mumbai), and Ahmed Pathan (senior inspector of police) switch their job to that of a teacher's for an hour.

However, the interesting bit here is that while they were away from work teaching kids at one of the Foundation's schools, students from Akanksha got the opportunity to step into their shoes. So, while ninth grader Wasim became the Group CEO, Viacom18, 12-year-old Tanisha got a chance to be the CEO of Colors; Rutika from Class 10 took over the talk sessions at Radio One, and Kirti filled in for Dhingra. The initiative was promoted on social media.

The Foundation, which currently reaches out to over 6,500 children, has three centres and 21 schools in Mumbai and Pune. It is a non-profit organisation, which provides high-quality education to children who hail from low-income communities. The NGO initiates school reforms through 'The School Project' and provides supplemental education through the Akanksha centres.

To mark the occasion, several other brands such as The Viral Fever (TVF), Paper Boat, Rajnigandha Silver Pearls, and Castrol Power1 also paid tribute to teachers in their own signature styles.

TVF, in association with the fashion social network Roposo, released the video 'A Day with R D Sharma - Teacher's Day Qtiyapa', in which a gutsy reporter puts himself 'at risk' to get into the house of the famous author of Math books. Incidentally, over there, he meets another famous author and Indian experimental physicist H C Verma.

But, why did TVF describe it as a 'risk'? Well, although this maybe a no-brainer for an engineering/science student, others will have to watch the video to find out.

To commemorate the day, Paperboat, the ethnic drinks brand from Hector Beverages, released a long-format ad 'A late Teachers' Day card'. Playing on the tagline 'Drinks and Memories', the beverage brand's one-and-a-half minute film paid a long overdue tribute to 'that one teacher' who would be (in) famous as 'Hitler' during school days.

Also in the fray was Rajnigandha Silver Pearls, the popular mouth freshener from the Dharampal Satyapal Group (DS Group), with its #TeacherNeBolaTha campaign. The ad took forward the brand's 'acchai ki chamak' thought while thanking teachers for "all the lessons that didn't make it to the text book".