Save the Children Engages Children and Youth in a Washathon
Over 3 lakh children from schools and Anganwadis across India participated in a “Washathon” organized by Save the Children, India, also known as Bal Raksha Bharat, in what may be the greatest single-day campaign on handwashing ever. On Global Handwashing Day, children from underprivileged neighborhoods in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi demonstrated the universally accepted ten-steps of handwashing and made a commitment to practice and promote hygiene and COVID-19 appropriate behavior. Unilever Global, through its Hand-hygiene Behavior Change Coalition, supports the project (HBCC 2.0).
Children also presented ten-step handwashing posters to the local government and other stakeholders as part of their promise to themselves for a healthier future.
Speaking about the programme, Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Save the Children, India, stated, “India’s children played a big role in behaviour changes leading to PM Modi’s “Swachchta” Clean India movement as the nation was coping with COVID-19. Children are frequently urged to wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after touching unclean surfaces. They internalize it and begin to inspire others as a result of doing it together. Children who have the potential to affect intergenerational change are the target audience for our WASH programmes and campaigns, and they are encouraged to adopt healthier hygiene practices. Through their reputation and ground-level connections with communities, civil society organizations play a crucial role in influencing behavior change. We completely support any efforts made by the government to guarantee that habit changes.
Save the Children
On another occasion, PM Modi had encouraged the kids to consider what they might do to help the nation in its 75th year of independence. In addition, he stated that “when youngsters become involved in efforts like the hand wash drive (during pandemic times), it captures people’s attention and succeeds.”
A study found that since the COVID-19 outbreak, India has become more conscious of infectious diseases and the importance of practicing proper hand hygiene. Also contributing significantly to the strong surge is the country’s spike in coronavirus cases, which increased the requirement for sanitization.
Additionally, government programmes like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Swasth Bharat aim to improve healthcare facilities and stop the spread of COVID-19.