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Reckitt's Commitment For A Better Future

Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative: A Multi Facet Approach for Transformative Change

Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero, a one-of-a-kind program has been working towards achieving Net Zero Diarrhoeal preventable deaths among under-5 children in Uttar Pradesh

Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative: A Multi Facet Approach for Transformative Change
The goal of Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero initiative is to prevent diarrhoea-related deaths among under-5 children

New Delhi: In a pioneering effort to combat diarrhoea and save young lives, Reckitt, through its Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative, has expanded its reach to 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh in the second phase of its program. With the ambitious goal of preventing diarrhoea-related deaths among under-5 children, this unique initiative stands out for its strategic approach, which revolves around understanding and respecting the culture and traditions of the communities it serves. By leveraging these key elements, the program has successfully engaged communities, with its efforts to promote lasting behaviour change and ensuring the relevance of its vital messages.

Also Read: Handwashing Is Beyond The Caste And Religion, It Is The Most Essential Thing: Ravi Bhatnagar From Reckitt

Unique Activities to Increase Community Knowledge on diarrhoea management

Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative: A Multi Facet Approach for Transformative Change

In the second phase of the campaign, Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative has expanded its reach to 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh

The Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative goes beyond conventional awareness campaigns. It adopts a blend of unique activities that resonate with the communities in Uttar Pradesh. Some of these activities include setting up canopies to demonstrate making ORS and promote its use for hydration by sampling ORS, distributing ORS and Zinc during the monsoon season when children are most vulnerable to diarrhoea, and supporting government initiatives like “dastak” and intensified diarrhoea control fortnight.

The program also empowers a cadre of 20,000 “Gulabi Didi Volunteers” who are trained in diarrhoea management and tasked with delivering positive messages to the communities. Moreover, thousands of “nukkad nataks” (street plays) are conducted across the 25 districts to effectively communicate strategies for diarrhoea management among children.

Additionally, the Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative employs creative communication tools such as wall paintings with key messages, celebrations during important dates like immunization week, global handwashing day, world toilet day, world water day, and world health day amongst other key days. The use of emotionally resonant songs, sung by renowned folk artists like Padam Shri, Mrs. Malini Awasthi, further strengthens the communication strategy, fostering empathy and emotion
around the subject.

An example of the innovative approach the programme provides a lifesaving Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero kits to the communities. These kits are thoughtfully designed to include essential items such as soap, sanitizers, zinc, ORS, and educational material, all neatly housed in a durable tin box. This tin box not only carries crucial information on diarrhoea management but also possesses practical value, becoming an item of importance that households would want to retain. Beyond its immediate purpose, the box can be repurposed in the long term to store other medicines, serving as a lasting reminder of the initiative’s commitment to the well-being of the community.

Also Read: Impact Of Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme 2022: Key Findings

Working in Synergy with the Government

One of the defining aspects of this initiative is its commitment to complementing the government’s efforts rather than creating a parallel system. By aligning its activities and tools with the local culture and customs, the program ensures that the communities feel a sense of relevance and ownership over the key messages. This, in turn, fosters better receptivity to change and paves the way for sustained behaviour modification.

Empowering Local Leaders

Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative: A Multi Facet Approach for Transformative Change

These kits include essential items such as soap, sanitizers, zinc, ORS, and educational material

Understanding the importance of culture and art in driving change, the Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative focuses on creating leaders within the communities. By identifying and empowering natural leaders who can effectively communicate the program’s messages, the initiative bridges the gap between external interventions and community acceptance. When key messages come from relatable figures within the community, the impact is profound, as people are more likely to embrace change when it originates from someone they trust and respect.

Focusing on the Key Indicators

Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative: A Multi Facet Approach for Transformative Change

The aim of the programme is to combat diarrhoea and save young lives

One of the standout features of the Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative is its targeted approach. By identifying the most affected blocks based on key indicators such as improved sanitation, drinking water, exclusive breastfeeding, rotavirus vaccination, diarrhoea prevalence, ORS uptake, and zinc uptake, the program ensures that its efforts are directed where they are needed the most. This approach not only maximises impact but also demonstrates a deep understanding of the specific challenges faced by each community.


The Dettol Diarrhoea Net Zero Initiative sets an exemplary standard for public health programs by leveraging culture and traditions to drive meaningful and lasting change. By adopting a community centric approach and working in harmony with the government efforts, the program ensures that its messages are not only heard but also embraced. Through a combination of creative communication strategies and the empowerment of community leaders, the initiative aspires to save 100,000 lives
in its mission to achieve Net Zero Diarrhoeal preventable deaths among under-5 children in Uttar Pradesh. As we witness the program’s impact unfold, it serves as a beacon of hope, showing that understanding, respecting and aligning with the culture, traditions and governance are integral to the success of transformative health initiatives.

Also Read: A Pathway From Hygiene To Wellness: Reckitt Launches A Coffee Table Book Focusing On India’s Journey Towards Universal Hygiene

About the Author: Ravi Bhatnagar, Director-External Affairs and Partnerships, Reckitt – South Asia and Sahil Talwar, Director Programs at Jagran Pehel

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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