Save the Children, India, also known as Bal Raksha Bharat, engaged nearly 3 lakh children from schools and Anganwadis across India in a ‘Washathon’ in what could be one of the greatest single-day campaigns led on handwashing.
Children from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi demonstrated the universally accepted ten-steps of handwashing to their peers, families, and the community at large, pledging to practise and promote hygiene and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour on Global Handwashing Day.
Unilever Global is supporting the campaign through their Hand-hygiene Behavior Change Coalition (HBCC 2.0).
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Swasth Bharat should be supported.
- Pledge to wash your hands in ten stages to encourage hygiene and acceptable conduct.
As part of their promise of a healthy future, the children also handed over ten-step handwashing posters to local authorities and other stakeholders.
The day also marked the beginning of a month-long campaign to encourage access to clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene habits in order to keep children prospering and give them a healthy start in life.
“As the nation grappled with COVID-19, India’s children played a vital role in behaviour changes contributing to PM Modi’s “Swachchta” Clean India programme.” Children are frequently urged to wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after touching unclean surfaces. And doing it with others allows them to internalise it and begin to encourage others. Our WASH programmes and campaigns aim to transform and embrace hygiene behaviours in children, who have the potential to bring about intergenerational change.Civil society organisations have a critical role in influencing behaviour change through their ground connections and credibility with communities. We heartily support all government efforts to promote behaviour change in health and hygiene habits in order to create a healthier nation.”Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Save the Children India
PM Modi had already invited the students to consider what they could do for the country in its 75th year of independence.
“when youngsters become involved in efforts like the hand wash drive (during epidemic times), it captures people’s imagination and accomplishes success.”
According to a research paper, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, India is experiencing an increase in knowledge about infectious diseases and excellent hand hygiene habits.
Furthermore, an increase in coronavirus infections in the country has increased the need for sanitization, which is one of the key drivers driving the country’s rapid growth.
Moreover, government’s initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Swasth Bharat focus to provide better healthcare facilities and reduce the spread of COVID-19, is further expected to drive hand wash & hygiene awareness in the coming years.
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