PLAN India Implements Dettol Banega Swasth India- School Hygiene Education Program across 3 new states

Written by Taasir

Under the thought leadership of Reckitt, the program aims to educate primary school students on maintaining hygienic practices for a better future

Bhagalpur, September 6, 2021: Reckitt group in partnership with PLAN India announced the Dettol Banega Swasth India- School Hygiene Education Program. The programme aims to create awareness and encourage primary school students to inculcate hygienic practices in their daily lives.  After a successful run of 5 years, the program was launched in 3 more Indian states in June. Subsequently, engaging and exciting, on-field events were planned in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar in the month of September, to celebrate the onboarding of the program as well as commemorate Teacher’s Day and thank them for their efforts. The event was held on 5th September in Bhagalpur with Smt. Seema Sha- Mayor as the honourable chief guest and saw a footfall of 325 students and teachers.

Director of External Affairs and Partnership in South Asia, Mr Ravi Bhatnagar said,, said, “We are delighted to extend the school hygiene education program to three more states and celebrate our partners – the teachers through the various on field events spread across the districts, to commemorate teacher’s day. COVID-19, the most widespread public health crisis of our times has amplified our need for hygiene. Governments, policy makers, health workers and civil society have been forced to swiftly ramp up hygiene infrastructure and education to drive efforts for a disease-free world. This programme is an attempt to educate and encourage necessary behavioural change amongst children, with the aim to empower them to serve as catalysts to bring about much larger change across society and realise our ambition of being a healthy and prosperous nation. The key to drive this colossal change is to start early. By introducing pro-hygiene behaviours in the formative years, integrating hygiene into school curricula and extending this education to every child, we hope to enable widespread behaviour transformation for a healthier future.”

Mrs. Mridula Jaiswal, mayor of Varanasi, UP said, “PLAN India has been vital in inculcating hygiene behaviours amongst children. We have been supporting Reckitt’s initiative for years now and appreciate the efforts of Dettol Bangea Swasth India team”

Shri Ravindar Jaiswal Minister, Independent Charges Stamp & Court Fee, Uttar Pradesh said,” Reckitt and PLAN India have followed the vision of our honorable Prime Minister of Swach and Swasth Bharat and we will support their goal in Varanasi and Uttar Pradesh to help students getting back to school in safe environment”

Executive Director, Plan India, Mr Mohammad Asif said, said, “The World Bank estimated that the economic cost of inadequate sanitation and hygiene in India was as high as Rs. 2.4 trillion (USD 53.8 billion) a year. Thus, highlighting the urgency to address the need to a build a more hygienic, healthy and cleaner nation. The world has witnessed the ability of the technology empowered youth to influence widespread social change. Thus, it is important to acknowledge children as powerful catalysts of change in their homes and neighbourhoods. Children who have acquired hygiene skills and have internalised hygiene as a value will be better equipped to hasten behavioural shifts in their communities. The Dettol Banega Swasth India- School Hygiene Education programme is built on this very premise and engages with children as collaborators, letting them drive the change. It builds their leadership and critical-thinking skills and enables them to solve hygiene problems in creative, sustainable ways, like solving the problem of access by setting up soap banks, ensuring hygiene through Child Parliaments and more. STEM and coding helps children imagine new ways to solve hygiene problems. While numbers and metrics speak their truth, the most visible sign of success has been the extent to which practices and behaviours inculcated by the programme continue to shape society.”

The two organisations collaborated to organise various creative activities for the events across districts. The activities included Nukkad Natak, that celebrated the role of teachers in teaching students about hygienic habits and shaping society; handwash demonstration to ensure utmost hygiene and cleanliness as well as an appreciation ceremony for teachers to recognise their tireless efforts.  This was followed by a briefing about the larger Banega Swasth India mission. A total of 300 teachers were  rewarded with an award of excellence for their contribution and outstanding support in the successful execution of the programme.

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