Kajol represents handwashing cause at United Nations

Kajol will petition for the cause of handwashing with soap at the United Nations General Assembly from 23rd-25th September, 2013.

Kajol Devgn, handwashing ambassador and advocate of Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign will attend the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (UNGA) events to appeal to policymakers and governments to scale up handwashing with soap programs to achieve development goals to reduce child mortality. Kajol will be at a series of UN events in New York from 23rd-25th September. 

India is the country with the highest number of deaths among children under 5 due to pneumonia and diarrhoea – with over 6 lakh deaths annually. Washing hands with soap is the most cost effective way to prevent child deaths and contribute to Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) towards reducing child mortality. While there are a number of initiatives to promote handwashing and preventing child deaths, we need to do more given the seriousness of the problem. 

Last month Kajol pledged her support to the ‘Help a Child reach 5’ campaign to promote the cause of handwashing with soap which aims to eradicate preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, the main causes of child mortality, one village at a time. The campaign to inculcate handwashing habits has started in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in India.

Urging governments & UN policy makers

On the eve of her travel to the UNGA Kajol said, “I would like to take this opportunity to urge governments and the United Nations policymakers to recognize that handwashing with soap is the most cost-effective intervention to reduce child mortality. I am proud to support the ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign. I believe that the private sector has a critical role to play in achieving our development goals and the lives of children worldwide.” 

Kajol will be a part of high profile events including high level UN panel dinner, press breakfast with Unilever CEO Paul Polman. She will also speak at the Social Good Summit along with other distinguished speakers like Al Gore and Melinda Gates. She will meet key UN dignitaries, including India’s permanent representative to the UN to highlight the cause of handwashing. 

The United Nations General Assembly will bring together world leaders, key opinion formers and policy makers and focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)- the development goals to achieve by 2015. At the UNGA, policymakers have an opportunity to look at how handwashing with soap can help us achieve MDG 4 target’s deadline of 2015, and in the post-2015 agenda. 

Unilever will be taking Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 campaign to New York City during United Nations General Assembly week. During these events, Lifebuoy hopes to highlight the role of handwashing with soap in helping more children reach 5 and achieving Millennium Development Goal 4, ensure handwashing policy is in place for the post-2015 agenda and lastly highlight the role of private sector partnerships, like those of Lifebuoy’s, in accelerating progress towards MDG4.

About Help a Child Reach 5 campaign:

  • Handwashing with soap saves lives.Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign aims to eradicate preventable deaths from diseases like diarrhoea one village at a time, by teaching lifesaving handwashing habits. 
  • To drive awareness for the cause, Lifebuoy created a moving film on what it means for a child to reach the age of 5:www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5 
  • Lifebuoy launched its Help a Child Reach 5 handwashing campaign in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in India. Lifebuoy has committed to teach Thesgora and surrounding villages (six villages in total) to wash their hands at key occasions in a day – and to sustain this habit. The initiative will increase handwashing with soap among children, thereby reducing child diarrhoea disease burden.
  • Lifebuoy doesn’t want to stop there – it wants to expand its life-saving mission, village by village – this campaign won’t stop until we stop our children dying from diarrhoea. We will expand this initiative across villages in South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. 
  • Kajol, distinguished Indian actress and mother has joined the campaign as a handwashing advocate
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