Back in 2016, as a part of Reckitt’s commitment towards a cleaner and healthier India, Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign decided to develop a Swachh or Hygiene Curriculum for school children. The objective of the curriculum was to educate children about the importance of cleanliness and teach healthy habits and practices and help realise India’s dream of becoming Swasth and Swachh.
About Dettol’s Hygiene Curriculum
The curriculum has 45 lessons through which Dettol Banega Swasth India hopes to inculcate hygienic habits. The curriculum has been collated in a very simplistic fashion in English, Hindi, and Telegu, to widen its reach across India. It is basically a step-by-step guide for children to keep themselves healthy and active. For easy comprehension, it has been divided into five strands – Personal Hygiene, Hygiene at Home, Hygiene at School, Hygiene During Illness, and Hygiene in Neighbourhood.
The first strand of the module, Personal Hygiene, looks at instilling certain habits in children that they can follow regularly and mould themselves into healthier beings. In this the children are taught basic hygiene practices like How to wash hands regularly with soap and water, how to take bath properly and keep the diseases at bay, how to brush their teeth and keep cavities away.
The second strand of the program concentrates on Hygiene at Home and stresses on the significance of keeping the home surroundings clean and healthy by following basic hygiene routine. From washing hands before eating, to following a healthy routine of using a toilet and ensuring clean water usage, the curriculum educates children on healthy practices that they should follow at home on a day-to-day basis to ensure cleanliness, as it is the best defence against illnesses and pest infestation.
The third strand focuses and educates children on how they can contribute to making their school environment healthier.
The fourth and the fifth strand of the Hygiene Curriculum focus on informing children about the importance of hygiene during illness and the importance of cleanliness in the neighbourhood, which is imperative for a healthy lifestyle.
Reckitt’s Commitment For A Swasth India And Its Achievements
Through the curriculum, Banega Swasth India campaign has committed to tripling its social impact by directly reaching out to nearly 47 million people by 2026 and 100 per cent primary schools in India. As far as the achievements are concerned of the Dettol School Hygiene Programme, here is how it is changing lives of school children:
– The programme has reached over 6.5 lakh schools and madrasas across India
– 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
– To spread the message about the importance of hygiene, comic books focussing on 100 ways in which germs spread have been created involving popular characters like Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu from Diamond Comics
– Dettol School Hygiene Programme is also being used to support reopening of schools across India
– It has been reported that curriculum has helped increase the confidence of parents who were apprehensive about sending their kids back to school
– The curriculum has evolved with time, in the post COVID-19 scenario, it has involved lessons and technical guidelines, decals, posters and products like soaps, masks, IR thermometer, etc. to ensure schools are prepared to reopen after the pandemic
– As a part of the Dettol School Hygiene Programme, 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 have reached to over one lakh more schools in India. The kit contains 2 games – “Soapy Dough” to make handmade soap that doubles as a safe hygienic substitute for Play-Doh . The second game is “Knowing How Germs Spread”, which is a simple game to teach children about how germs transmit via unwashed hands, and how these can be eliminated by following the handwashing steps
– In addition, hygiene corners have also 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.
According to evaluation reports, the Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme notes a 32 per cent improvement in knowledge about hygiene and maintaining toilets
Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships Reckitt says that the Dettol School Hygiene Programme in India has been ‘truly transformational’, he said,
I am immensely proud of our work in India, which has been truly transformational. With our partners, we are now able to provide 20 million school children with education on hygiene behaviours, 8,000 mothers with support during the first 1,000 days of their children’s lives, and millions more consumers with access to our products.
About The Author: Ravi Bhatnagar is the Director, External Affairs & Partnerships from Reckitt
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 – 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, 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 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.