- Dettol School Hygiene Programme was launched in 2014 in 2,500 schools
- It has expanded to reach 13 million children across 40 districts, 8 states
- Every rupee spent is generating a 33-fold return in social impact
New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed the role of hygiene in ensuring good health and well-being. The importance of handwashing with soap has been yet again emphasised to prevent diseases and save lives. Governments, policymakers, health workers and civil society worked on a war footing to ramp up hygiene infrastructure and awareness on handwashing, in their fight against the pandemic. Dettol has been advocating this practice through its School Hygiene Education Programme, which has already reached over 6.5 lakh schools and madrasas, so when pandemic struck, it was well placed to scale up the spread of hygiene education widely among children and communities.
School closures in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak demanded that the programme innovate and find other ways of reaching children so that this critical education could continue uninterrupted. Responding to the need of the hour, the programme leapfrogged into new technologies, partnerships and methodologies that have, fortuitously, added to its robustness and made it future-ready, states the Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme report.
Here are the highlights of the impact of Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme so far since last year:
1. The Dettol School Hygiene Programme has reported a 57 per cent improvement in the knowledge of handwashing and a 54 per cent increase in the practice of handwashing until 2020. As a result of this, the programme has achieved diarrhoea reduction by 14.6 per cent and a decline in school absenteeism by 39 per cent.
2. To spread the message about the importance of hygiene, comic books focussing on 100 ways in which germs spread were created involving popular characters like Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu from Diamond Comics.
3. STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning in hygiene was introduced by bringing hygiene science at home through the “Hygiene Buddy kits”, to stimulate learning through Neuro Linguist Programming (NLP). These kits will reach one lakh schools in India. The STEM games include “Soapy PlayDough” and “Learning How Germs Spread”.
Return To Safety: #SwasthyaMantra School Reopening Kit
As part of the Banega Swasth India campaign Dettol has developed the ‘SwasthyaMantra’ School Reopening Kit. The kit offers training and tools to help schools, children, parents and staff, plan and prepare for school reopening. It offers practical strategies to help children feel safe and protected in the school environment. It also guides schools on how to stay open for a sustained period of time. The kit has reached over one lakh schools across India.
Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme: Winning By Design
As part of the programme, Introduction of STEM learning on Hygiene by bringing hygiene science at home with the “Hygiene Buddy kits”, stimulating learning through Neuro Linguist Programming (NLP). These kits will reach 100,000 schools in India. The STEM games include “Soapy PlayDough” and “Learning How Germs Spread”.
In addition, hygiene corners have been set up in schools across the country. A hygiene corner is a designated place in every school where the school displays all the material related to the practice of hygiene promoted by Dettol Banega Swasth India. The material includes students’ workbooks, the teacher’s manual, buckets, water mugs, towels, posters, a first-aid box, soap and more.
The Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme report notes a 32 per cent improvement in knowledge about hygiene corners and maintaining toilets. The corners, designed to stimulate learning and exploration by children about hygiene, will be installed in model primary schools across India.
Dettol Hygiene Corners will be competing for the Lexus Design Awards under the Social Impact category.
Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme: Winning by Scale
The Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme has expanded to cover 75 per cent of the primary schools in India (6.5 lakh schools) including 3 lakh Madrasas, reaching 20 million school children, across India, including seven north-eastern states.
Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme: Winning Through Partnerships
Reckitt, the world’s leading consumer Health and Hygiene Company partnered with WhiteHatJr to inspire young minds to contribute towards creating Digital Hygiene Solutions under the Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign. A scholarship programme was launched to inspire children aged 6-18 years to reimagine health and hygiene solutions at all human touchpoints, from personal to domestic and from the community to the environment.
The top 200 students were selected for a mentorship programme and assigned mentors to help build the apps based on their ideas. The mentorship was given for 6 sessions of 1 hour each spread over 4-5 weeks, where the students were guided on how to build the apps. Post completion of the mentorship programme, the top 50 students were selected for scholarships based on the apps developed, which were evaluated based on specific parameters.
One of the top 50 apps is ‘B-positive’ developed by 12-year-old Advik Shetty. It was designed to break the stigma around mental health. ‘B-Positive’ encourages people to take care of their mental health as much as their physical health.
Another app that took the spotlight was ‘The Red Thread’, an educational app that informs the user on the process of menstruation. It helps them chart their menstrual cycle or seek help within the user community. 16-year-old Himakshi, the brain behind the app, wanted to address a subject that is often stigmatised and treated as taboo.
Over the last six years, the Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme has inculcated pro-hygiene behaviours in children and supported these behaviours by creating access to sanitation. It has created tremendous social value with the change rippling out to families and communities and positively impacting multiple domains of life, said Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, Reckitt – South Asia.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via 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 – the LGBTQ 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 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 will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, 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, that 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 like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that 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 the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.