Hindustan Coca-Cola Bottlers Beverages, Ltd. (HCCB) welcomed eight mom bloggers to India earlier this month for a first-hand look at Coke’s innovative efforts to empower women throughout its value chain. The bloggers say the trip had a profound impact on their views of India and of how Coke is improving the lives of millions of people in that country and elsewhere.

But, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, we are turning to photos to tell this story. We asked each of the participants on the trip to pick out their favorite image of the journey. Here are the ones they picked…



India Bloggers

"The benefits of Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program allowed this boy’s grandfather to properly irrigate his farm, resulting in both a 40% decrease in water usage and a 40% increase in crop yield. The benefits extend even further than the obvious farm improvements, though. Due to the additional income and more efficient practices, the farmer and his adult children are able to work less than before, and all eight grandchildren are able to attend school. This particular grandson was as interested in us as we were in him, and it was lovely to see his world open up through our visit." -- Roxanne Davis, DohaMums.com



India Bloggers

"This photo for me -- of a beautiful mandala, made of flowers -- captures an essence of India that I will never forget: The incredible welcoming spirit of this country. We were greeted at every destination with handmade gardens of fresh flowers and the traditional blessing of applying the tilak, a ritual mark of vermilion placed between the brows of the visitor. But the welcome was so much deeper than the ritual: the level of engagement and sharing was astonishing, humbling and uplifting. The pride that came through in every single interaction, whether the speaker was shy or gregarious, was truly memorable. It was galvanizing to see how clearly people's lives have been impacted and uplifted by simple ideas, well applied, and supported by a unique combination of private-government-community.

"On our last day, we visited the Career Development Center in Dasna, and met young people who were bursting over with pride at all they now knew they could accomplish, a very short bridge having been built between their traditional village lives and modern world happening all around them. 'What I learned here nobody had taught me before,' said one girl, 'which was to have confidence in myself.' A woman who took part in the village Self-Help Clubs for micro-saving and micro-lending said it more starkly, and more beautifully: 'What I found here was a second chance at life.'" -- Stacy Morrison, BlogHer.com



India Bloggers

"I was inspired by the women of Goblej Village, who with Coca-Cola's help, created a sewing center where they could create the clothing they were making at home before, but in a more organized and profitable manner. The skill and talent in that room blew me away." -- Amy Bellgardt, MomSpark.com



India Bloggers

"I was mesmerized when I watched this young girl dance. She was completely enchanting. When I watched her, I truly felt the impact of the Support My School initiative. The improved quality of the toilets and sanitation facilities made this young girls access to education so much easier. She is being uplifted by the work being done in partnership with Coca-Cola, and it’s amazing to see. She told me, she hopes to be a doctor. I have a feeling she’s going to make it happen." -- Komal Minhas,World Economic Forum Global Shaper



India Bloggers

"This is my favorite picture because it captured one of my favorite moments on the trip, dancing with a beautiful bunch of women who despite many challenges have empowered themselves and each other. They aren’t allowing excuses to stop them from building their businesses and becoming financially independent so that they are able to contribute and provide for their families. You can see hope in their eyes and in the smiles on their faces. They are an inspiration! I also this love it because they made me dance with them and it was fun!" -- Leanette Fernandez, TeachMe2Save.com



India Bloggers

"I gave this little girl my flowers at the Splash Bar. She is so beautiful, innocent and there is so much hope in her eyes. She's exactly why #5by20 is so important." -- Kim Ritter, TwoKidsAndACoupon.com



India Bloggers

"A laugh is universal. Women from our visit to a farm using drip irrigation share a laugh with mom bloggers." -- Dana Bolden, Coca-Cola Bottling Investments Group



India Bloggers

"This picture demonstrates the warm welcome we received at Thimmareddy Government School by the school children, teachers, and principal. I was touched by Vimala's statement that 'There are many angels helping us.' -- Mary Edwards, GoAdventureMom.com



India Bloggers

"This husband and wife, both doctors, committed their lives to helping women born into prostitution gain education and training to choose the life they'd rather lead. Their center provides skills training to young people and women, and is the hub for self-help groups that eventually become micro-financed through their sewing and tailoring work. Saying goodbye to them, I started to cry. Their work reminds me of the power of our passions and the power of our hearts. They are completely transforming the lives of the women they work with. 

What made you start this work? 'She did. She's a doctor, you know? We met in school and she was always driven to work for these women. She's the one who brought us here... My granddaughter, she always says, 'grandpa, you are always right behind grandma (peechay peechay).' He laughs. 'She's right, you know?' I am blown away by these two." -- Komal Minhas,World Economic Forum Global Shaper



India Bloggers

"No matter where you are in the world, we women all have one thing in common that can break down any perceived barriers. That commonality is family. FAMILY is universal. This photo shows my friend Roxanne Davis informing the women of Soda Village that I am the proud mother of seven children."  -- Christine Young, FromDatesToDiapers.com



India Bloggers

"The thing that consistently impressed me on our country-wide tour was the simplicity of the solutions we saw. This 'Splash Bar' was a great example. The idea that you could create an entrepreneur by having a woman in a rural village sell tiny “shots” of Coca-Cola for 5 rupees (about 3 cents) is so simple and yet so innovative. And, of course, the best way to thank her for letting us into her world for a few moments was a 'toast' featuring a splash of Coke!" -- Jason Evans, Trip Photographer/Videographer



India Bloggers

"A warm welcome to the community makes all the difference." -- Beata Mandy Shemuvalula, Coca-Cola Intern, Namibia