New Delhi: Reckitt, the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, announced the second edition of Dettol Hygiene Olympiad, the biggest Hygiene Olympiad in India under its flagship campaign Dettol Banega Swasth India. This year, the Olympiad will be reaching over 30 million children across 28 states and 8 union territories in India. The initiative will also engage with students in 2500 gurukuls and other religious education schools and will also be available to kids in Sanskrit, the world’s oldest language – this will be for the first time in world that such a large-scale exam on hygiene is being conducted in Sanskrit.
Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 is supported by over 100 partners which include, Plan India, MAMTA HIMC, Gramalaya, Jagran Pehel, AJYS, FICCI ISC, ASSOCHAM Foundation, Apollo Total Health, SARDS, and CARPED, among others. The offline examination is scheduled from September 4 to September 15, providing children aged 6 to 16 years an impetus to explore the nexus between hygiene, health, and safeguarding their family. One winner will be announced from each state and union territory and select winners will be felicitated in person at the launch of Dettol Banega Swasth India Season 10.
Lauding the initiative, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Founder-Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said that he believes empowering students with knowledge and awareness about the intrinsic connection between hygiene and health will build a healthier and stronger nation.
Gaurav Jain, Executive Vice President – South Asia, Reckitt said,
Talking about India’s initiatives in ensuring good health and hygiene, Naina Lal Kidwai, Chair of India Sanitation Coalition and Padma Shri awardee said, “We, at the India Sanitation Coalition recognise that India has made great strides through the Swachh Bharat Mission in solid and liquid waste, covering over six hundred thousand villages of India. Research has time and again shown the direct interconnection between the reduction of diseases and regular handwashing with soap, especially at critical times of pre-meals, post-defecation, and pre-feeding babies. In many situations, however, both access to hygiene facilities and support for essential behaviours are lacking in India.”
Further talking about the partnership with Dettol and the initiative of Hygiene Olympiad, Sai Damodaran, Padma Shri Awardee, Founder and CEO, Gramalaya said that the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 is a wonderful initiative by Reckitt and I thank Reckitt for such a great initiative as part of the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0.
Rathi Vinay Jha, Chairperson of Plan India Board, said that it is heartening to note that Reckitt’s purpose-driven endeavours are directed toward supporting a crucial social cause across multiple States in India, all aimed at fostering sustainable growth for the nation’s future. She further added,
Underlining the importance of initiatives like these, Dr. Indira Chakravarty, Padma Shri Awardee, Public Health Specialist, Scholar and Environmentalist said,
Janhvi Patel, Laishram Salona, Anil, Anshika, Kajal and Arpit Pandey – are some of the hygiene champions or winners of the first edition of the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad. They were felicitated on the stage of NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India’s Lakshya – Sampoorn Swasthya Ka Telethon, on October 2, 2022. The students received a certificate and cash prize in the presence of Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan.
Inspirational Stories of 2022 Winners:
Anil, The Swacchata Hero
Anil, student of 5th grade at GPS Pteri, Udham Singh Nagar. Anil comes from a family facing economic hardship. Their home lacks even the most basic amenities like electricity. His father, Bhagwan Das, works tirelessly as a laborer to support the family. Yet, despite these challenging circumstances, Anil stands out as a beacon of intelligence and enthusiasm, with lofty ambitions of becoming an engineer.
Anil seized the opportunity to participate in the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad in September 2022. Putting forth his best efforts, he impressed the judges and won second place. This win earned him an all-expenses-paid trip to Mumbai, where he boarded an airplane for the very first time, filling him with unbridled joy. The event’s ambassador, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, presented him with a prize of 25,000 INR. His victory was broadcast live, capturing the hearts of his family, teachers, and entire village.
Upon his triumphant return, Anil received a hero’s welcome. His school and village celebrated him with garlands and festive drum beats, recognizing him as their esteemed Village Hero. The local Deputy Education Officer, Dr. Gunjan Amrohvi, felicitated both Anil and his school principal during a school assembly. Shortly after, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate ordered the refurbishment of Anil’s home, ensuring proper electricity and sanitation facilities. This marked a life-changing milestone in Anil’s remarkable journey.
Kajal: The Visionary Champion Defying Odds
Kajal, a 7th-grade student at Composite School Khushalganj in Lucknow. Kajal has her education intermittently interrupted due to her mother's declining health and the domestic responsibilities that fall upon her. Despite these challenges, she has been steadfast in her resolve to become a school teacher.
Kajal’s exceptional dedication didn’t go unnoticed; her principal, Mrs. Anjaly Saxena, praised her abilities in both academics and extracurricular activities. When the opportunity arose to participate in the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad, Kajal excelled, becoming the top scorer in the Lucknow district. Her outstanding performance won her a first prize of 50,000 INR, presented by Amitabh Bachchan himself during a grand ceremony in Mumbai.
Her achievement has not only brought immense pride to her family but has also had a ripple effect throughout her community, reinforcing the invaluable role of education. Since her triumphant return, Kajal has received honors from local officials and has dedicated her victory to her school’s hygiene education program, attributing her success to the strong foundation it provided.
Janhvi Patel, The Hygiene Girl
Janhvi, 4th grade at P S Manduwadih in Varanasi. Janhvi Patel hails from a modest background in a small village. Her parents never had the opportunity for a formal education, but Janhvi herself has shown extraordinary enthusiasm for learning. She is an active participant in various school events and has a sparkling record in academic competitions.
When the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad took place in September 2022, Janhvi fully dedicated herself and emerged as one of the winners. Her efforts were rewarded with a 50,000 INR prize, personally handed to her by Amitabh Bachchan, marking a significant turning point in her life.
This milestone led to further recognition: Janhvi was elected as a monitor for her school’s Bal Sansad (Children’s Parliament) and was later appointed as the Bal Sansad Ambassador by the Municipal Corporation. Even the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, took note of her accomplishments during a visit to her school. Known now as “Hygiene Girl,” Janhvi also had the chance to spread her message of cleanliness and wellness through an interview on Radio City 98.3, becoming an icon and a voice of inspiration for both the young and old in her community.
Why Do We Need A Hygiene Olympiad?
- Olympiad examinations signify excellence in education and an undoubted knowledge base.
- It brings out the areas needing attention so that proper orientation can be given in areas lacking proficiency.
- It helps assess the gap in hygiene literacy in India and promotes pro-hygiene behavior among school students.
Dettol Hygiene Olympiad: 5 Domains Of Hygiene
- Hygiene at home
- Hygiene at school
- Hygiene in neighbourhood
- Personal hygiene
- Hygiene during illness
The First Edition Of Dettol Hygiene Olympiad
In the debut year, the Olympiad reached out to 24 million school children in 8.5 lakh schools across India and motivated them to enhance their reasoning, analytical and problem-solving skills in the context of hygiene, making everyday hygiene practices their second nature.
Chacha Chaudhary And Other Iconic Superheroes Explain The Importance Of Hygiene
To educate children about health and hygiene, Dettol Banega Swasth India along with Diamond Comics has introduced ‘Dettol Superhero’, a comic book for children. In this special edition, ‘hygiene’ is the topmost priority for the superhero as they fight against germs and protect children. The basic idea is that a hygienic life equates to a healthy life. All stories are weaved around interactions between the children and hygiene superhero in various settings, primarily three settings: home, neighbourhood, and schools.
Way before superheroes like Spiderman, Superman and Batman made their way into our lives, Indian children and even adults had their own superhero – Chacha Chaudhary. The wise old man Chacha Chaudhary has entertained people across generations even before the advent of cable television. He would move from home to home, spreading joy and wisdom through a humble comic book. With a big white mustache, a red turban and a walking stick in his hand, Chacha Chaudhary’s ability was to solve problems. The ageless iconic hero from the 1970s has now made a comeback to not just entertain but also give a message on hygiene. This time he is Dettol’s superhero!
With Chacha Chaudhary, other superheroes like Shaktiman, Saabu, Pinky and Billu have also come. Interestingly, not only beloved superheroes are playing the role of hygiene heroes. The idea is that all kids can become hygiene heroes by following a few protocols and actively fighting germs.
To reach a wider audience, the comic book has been released in multiple languages – English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Spanish and Portuguese.
The Diamond Comics team worked with the Banega Swasth India team to construct the stories and visualisation. Inputs of storytellers, programme implementers and children were gathered to figure out the narrative and storylines. Richa Shukla, an Educationist is one of the brains behind this innovative message.
At the NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India’s Lakshya – Sampoorn Swasthya Ka telethon, actor, producer, choreographer, and voice artist, Jaaved Jaaferi, read a story from the comic book and enacted the multiple characters. The story titled, “Swachta School Mein,” describes fascinating facts about safe food habits and hygiene. It has various characters, including Chacha Chaudhary, school principal, a teacher, superhuman characters Fauladi Singh and Shaktiman, students, and Keetasur (a comic name for germs).
The story is about the animated microorganisms attacking the school washrooms and toilets and spreading infection, resulting in students falling ill. This is brought to the headmaster’s attention, who dials Chacha Chaudhary and urges him to visit the school premises to contain the situation.
Chacha Chaudhary asks the headmaster if the school has maintained a ‘hygiene corner’. On finding that the management was unaware of the concept, the iconic comic character details out the importance of having a designated place in the school that has all the materials related to the practice of hygiene, such as soaps, handwash, hand sanitisers, among others.
There are more such stories in the book that talk about cleanliness in the neighbourhood and at home. The book has already made its way to the hearts of hundreds and thousands of children. Sharing the plans with regard to taking the book to every corner, Dr Jyotsna Sistla, Manager, Purpose Programmes, Reckitt said,
We are aiming to ensure that the comics reach every school we work with. We have covered 50 per cent of the schools with the comics. We are also collecting feedback on the stories and the experience of the students and teachers. The aim will be to make them better, and perhaps diversify into audio versions of the same, that can be disseminated to a wider audience.