New Delhi: “This year, good health, is our top priority. We are all surrounded by a pandemic – COVID19 and in today’s scenario, we all have to do our best to keep the virus away from ourselves and others. The whole world is fighting a war against coronavirus, but we need not to worry because we have the support of the best doctors and good healthcare facilities. The challenge before us is how we can provide the healthcare facilities to every individual,” said Bollywood Megastar and the Campaign Ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan as he sets the agenda for the launch of Season 7 of NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign as the 12-Hour #SwasthyaMantra Telethon got underway.
Stressing on the need and importance of improving health and hygiene in the fight against coronavirus, Mr Bachchan added,
We don’t have to fight this epidemic alone. We cannot fight it alone! The whole community needs to come together and fight this disease. We have to understand the importance of cleanliness around us. We need to understand that if we are maintaining good hygiene, we will stay healthy and keep others safe as well.
Recalling the journey of the last six years of the campaign, which aims to make India clean and healthy, Mr Bachchan said,
For the last six years you have been with me in this journey and I have been urging all of you to keep our country clean, green and healthy.
He further said that in these six years the campaign a lot has been done and achieved. In the first leg of the campaign in 2014, NDTV-Dettol reached the first milestone after introducing a Swachh Express, a bus that successfully travelled through 350 villages across 7 states of India, to educate people on the importance of sanitation and toilets and proper handwashing techniques. Mr Bachchan added,
We launched ‘Swachh Express’ to create awareness about the importance of sanitation. We collected Rs. 281 crore and used it in the construction and maintenance of toilets across India.
Swachh Express was followed by the introduction of ‘Swachhta ki Pathshala’ or classes on cleanliness in the second year, where school students were taught about the importance of good hygiene. Mr Bachchan explained the thought behind this initiative,
We believe that what children learn at an early age stays with them throughout their life.
The second year, the campaign also saw the support from various individuals and corporates who pledged over 1.16 crore volunteering hours for clean-up drives across India. NDTV-Dettol in the same year also specially curated the Hygiene Curriculum for schools in India. A 45-lesson hygiene curriculum was distributed to nearly 10,000 schools. In the third year came #Mere10Guz initiative as part of the Cleanathon which promoted the concept of how if each individual ensured that 10 yards of their surroundings is clean then India could become clean. While in the fourth year the campaign focused on waste management with the concept of ‘clean, compost and segregate’, the fifth year called for attention towards efforts to beat air pollution.
Last year, in the sixth season, our campaign moved the conversation from Swachh to Swasth. The campaign focussed on the well-being of mothers and children, especially during the first 1000 days. Now, this is the seventh year of the Banega Swasth India program. This is the most important year as well, in wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative to revisit the core values of the campaign – stay clean and maintain good hygiene. Health is currently the top focus, we all need to work together to create a healthier and safer nation.
Highlighting the focus of this year’s campaign and describing the three pillars of Banega Swasth India campaign in season 7, Mr Bachchan signed off by saying,
In the seventh year, Banega Swasth India campaign will focus on three pillars to make the world safe and healthy – Health, Hygiene & Sanitation, and Environment. We have brought a new mantra – ’Swachh Se Swasth’ (Clean environment for a healthy society). I urge each one of you, stay clean and healthy.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.