New Delhi, October 2022.

Reckitt, the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, under its flagship campaign Dettol Banega Swasth India celebrated Global Handwashing Day on October 15th, 2022 across schools in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. In line with this year’s theme for Global  Handwashing  Day, ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene’ BSI focused on sensitizing students and teachers on the importance of healthy handwashing habits that can unite communities in the fight against diseases through School Hygiene Education Program. The intervention also identified handwashing agents – children from each district who will champion the message on handwashing amongst their peers.

In Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh more than two lakhs school children washed hands together at the ring of the Swachhata bell, before starting their mid-day meal on October 15, setting one of a unique record in the country. Global Handwashing Day was celebrated in the presence of Mr. Yugal Kishor Pant, District Magistrate, Uddham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand,Mr. RC Arya, Chief Education Officer, Uddham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand and Mr. Vishal Mishra, Chief Development Officer, , Uddham Singh Nagarin Uttarakhand, Dr. Dinesh Chandra, District Magistrate, Bahraich, Mr. Rakesh Rathore, Minister of State, Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Shiv Pratap Shukla, MLA, Gorakhpur, Dr Umesh Shukla, AdditionalEducation Director, Varanasigraced the events in districts of Uttar Pradesh, and Mr. Tarkeshwar Prasad Bhagat, Ex-Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar attended the event in Bihar.

Shri Tarkeshwar Prasad, Ex-Deputy Chief Minister, Bihar said, “Hand hygiene is an essential aspect of a healthy life, especially in today’s challenging times where we are still battling COVID-19. This is also important for children, senior citizens and people ailing with comorbidities. Proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to protect yourself/oneself from the coronavirus outbreak as it reduces the risk of infection by a huge margin. WHO’s global recommendations include making hand hygiene an essential part of one’s behaviour to control and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. To spread the importance of hand hygiene amongst the masses, Global Handwash Day is celebrated globally on October 15.”

Mr Yugal Kishor Pant, District Magistrate,Uddham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand said, “Any small, good habit once implemented, can change your life.If we wash our hands well daily, then it can protect us from many different diseases which can cause us immense pain and discomfort in our day-to-day life.Dettol India is making a great initiative on this Global Handwashing Day to promote the importance of this very small but one of the important habits of our life.”

Mr. Rakesh Rathore “Guru”, State Minister Urban Development, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, said“Dettol India is running a cleanliness program in schools. Cleanliness is the only way to keep all the diseases away. Children are learning total cleanliness in their school. They will also spread these good habits in their family and neighbours.I hope that this program will make the Swachh Bharat Mission meaningful. My best wishes to the officials and team of Dettol for this commendable program.”

Commenting on the celebration, Mr. Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships SOA, Reckitt said, “At Reckitt, we are dedicated to leaving no one behind and creating a healthier tomorrow by working towards educating and encouraging children and adults about hand hygiene. Dettol Banega Swasth India celebratedGlobal Handwashing Day across the states to ensure that this day is marked as one of the most important day to provide behavioral nudges in thousands of schools and millions of children and brings one step closer towards sensitizing children and teachers to inculcate healthy handwashing habits.The celebration takes us closer tocreating an aware community through future leaders.”

Mr. Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India said “Partnership between PLAN India and Reckitt has helped in improving the lives of millions of children and young people. With an aim to empower local communities to drive impactful behavior change, we celebrated Global Handwashing Day in schools across our interventional districts.Through our initiatives, we are consistently engaging and educating children on health and hygiene practices to build a healthy nation.”

In an effort to encourage people to wash their hands with soap, multiple interactive and engaging activities were conducted with the students as well as the teachers. The celebration witnessed drawing and poster-makingcompetition for school students which was followed by the Swachhata song, Nukkad Natak around the handwashing and hygiene theme‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene.’

During the celebration,relay race was also conducted for the school children. In addition, to educate children and adults about the benefits of handwashing, Hygiene Buddy Kits, Dettol soaps and sanitizer were distributed.  Through it’s efforts such Dettol Hygiene Olympiad which reached out to 10 million kids across the nation and launch of Dettol comics on Global Handwashing Day 2022 , where beloved characters like Chacha Chowdhury and Shakti man talks about importance of handwashing, Dettol Banega Swasth India has been relentlessly pursuing handwashing as one of the key practices to make children healthier.