Going by the tagline, ‘Clean hands are a recipe for health,’ the Global Handwashing Day (GHD) was observed in the district of Seraikella-Kharsawan on 15th October, 2018, along with the rest of the world, to motivate people, particularly children in all villages to improve their handwashing habits.
The message conveyed was that washing hands at critical points during the day and washing with soap are both important.
Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Chhavi Ranjan along with Executive Engineer (PHED) Mr. Deepak Mahato and the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Seraikella block, demonstrated handwashing techniques at Kamalpur panchayat. Children were taught to clean hands at five critical times during the day – after defecation, after cleaning a child’s bottom, before feeding a child, before eating and before preparing food. Emphasis was given to washing hands with soap to reduce faecal-oral transmission of disease.
Even as GHD helps raise awareness of the importance of washing with soap, it also makes it a fun activity for children to get involved while sensitizing the elders at all Panchayat Bhavans, PHCs, Anganwadi Centres.
Peer influence is significant to seeing increased hand washing among students. Researchers found that students were much more likely to wash their hands when another student is present. Peer influence is only successful; however, when students know that hand washing is a desirable action.
The aims of GHD were to foster and support a general culture of handwashing with soap in all societies; shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country; and to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.
GHD’s theme focuses on the links between handwashing and food – including food hygiene and nutrition. Handwashing is an important part of keeping food safe, preventing diseases, and helping children grow strong. The tagline, ‘Clean hands – a recipe for health,’ was to remind people to make handwashing a part of every meal.
Research indicates that respiratory and intestinal diseases can be reduced by 25-50% when the practice of handwashing is followed.
Inputs: Avinash Kaur, Zila Swachh Bharat Prerak, Seraikella – Kharsawan