New Delhi: #DettolBanegaSwasthIndia – A Pathway from Hygiene to Wellness is a coffee table book that has been curated by Outlook and Reckitt with the focus on India’s journey towards universal hygiene. The book also seeks to advance thought and action for following self-care practices that would enhance the quality of life. Eminent public policy experts, doctors, faith leaders and corporate captains like Amitabh Kant, Former CEO, NITI Aayog; Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, South-East Asia, World Health Organization; Dr Randeep Guleria, Former Director, AIIMS (New Delhi); Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Former Chief Scientist, World Health Organization; Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, India; Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Co-Founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; Naina Lal Kidwai, Chair, India Sanitation Coalition; Gaurav Jain, Executive Vice President – South Asia, Reckitt; Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs and Partnerships, Reckitt (SOA) and guest editor of the book amongst others have contributed in the making of this book.
The book is being launched during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2023 on January 22 in the presence of Upma Chawdhury – IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, Board Member; Gaurav Jain, Executive Vice President – South Asia, Reckitt; Mohammad Asif – Executive Director, PLAN India; Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa; Sanjoy Roy – MD, Teamwork Arts and William Dalrymple – Festival Director. The event also saw a photo exhibition in a digital format showcasing Dettol Banega Swasth India program’s efforts throughout the years to nurture health and hygiene behaviours reaching out to 24 million school kids.
What Leaders Have Explained In The Book
The book focusses on one main agenda – hygiene and health are inseperable. It also covers valuable lessons from field experts, such as:
1. Leaders Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati explain in this book their rationale of setting up Global Interfaith WASH Alliance to rally religious leaders to promote practices of hygiene drawing from their respective religious scriptures.
2. Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, South-East Asia, World Health Organization, explained how more attention to hygiene would particularly go a long way to help check diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections, which are two primary causes of mortality in young children. She points out that handwashing with soap is a simple and powerful act that saves millions of lives in India and across the world.
3. Dr Randeep Guleria, Former Director, AIIMS-New Delhi underlines the fact that handwashing, physical distancing
and wearing masks will continue to be important in future outbreaks, too. He said, “With new waves of the Covid-19 pandemic starting to sweep the world and the effect of vaccines waning, a self-care regimen of safe distancing, wearing face masks and practising hand hygiene with vaccination seems to be a safer and sustainable way
4. Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, says that India’s extensive political and financial
commitments in providing clean water and safe sanitation to its population are rapidly changing lives. He added that going beyond improving health, the impact of adequate focus on hygiene can help achieve not only a sub-indicator of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on clean water and sanitation, but also other SDGs and consequently productivity and GDP.
5. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Former Chief Scientist, WHO, adds that the next time there is a global pandemic or even an epidemic that affects some countries, it would be helpful to have in place a globally agreed upon plan of how data, knowledge and intellectual property are to be shared and how technology transfer would take place.
6. G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant in his opening address in the book highlights India’s approach of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The World Is One Family) can see magnificent results globally if all of us are healthy. He says, “Our progress is literally in our hands—clean hands.”