Skip to content

Societal health & wellbeing

Health inequalities and social exclusion have no place in the world.

We’re harnessing the power of our brands and reach across India to make a lasting impact. Find out about the actions we're taking.

Illustration of woman with pink hair washing her hands

Handwashing with soap: a life-saving practice

75 millionpeople impacted by our handwashing behaviour change initiaives since 2010.

Handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective preventive measures against fatal diarrhoeal, respiratory, and other diseases. It is proven to reduce diarrhoeal disease by up to 45%[a] and pneumonia by 23%[b]. In India, around 0.9 million children under the age of 5 die of the above diseases. Therefore, handwashing with soap is central to reducing infant mortality rates.

Through our brand Lifebuoy, for example, we conduct several on-ground behaviour change programmes in partnership with the GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), and our NGO partners.

A picture a school boy showing his clean hands in a classroom.

Global Handwashing Day

Every year, the 15th of October is celebrated as Global Handwashing Day worldwide. This year, Lifebuoy collaborated with Imagimake, a toy design company, to launch the ‘H for Handwashing’ Games.

Guided by Lifebuoy’s behaviour change model these games are designed to engage and educate young Indian minds by blending the joy of play with the essential practice of hand hygiene. The initiative received significant endorsement from the state governments of Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana. The games are in state-run schools across these states, encouraging over 75,000 children to cultivate the habit of handwashing with soap and lead a healthier life.

School children playing the H for handwashing games developed by Lifebuoy in collaboration with Imagimake.

Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat (SASB)

Our SASB programme is congruent with the Government of India and its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission).

It aims to promote good health and hygienic practices to address the country’s challenges pertaining to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Clean India Mission

Project Suvidha

A picture of HUL’s Suvidha Centre in Mumbai

4+Lakh people use Suvidha annually

Our 16 Suvidha centres cumulatively serve over 400,000 women, children, men, and people with disabilities, saving over 130 million[c] litres of water cumulatively through water-saving technologies.

The first Suvidha was set up by HUL at Ghatkopar in Mumbai in 2016 in partnership with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai.

With HSBC as a co-funder, HUL established 15 more Suvidha Centres, this includes the biggest Suvidha centre in Dharavi, which is also one of the largest community toilet blocks in India with 111 toilet seats. Our Suvidha Centres provide safe and dignified toilets, purified drinking water, showers, and laundry services at subsidised rates. HUL, along with BMC has also announced a strategic partnership with JSW Foundation to build 10 more Suvidha Centres in Mumbai.

Powered by solar energy, the centres also treat wastewater from handwashing stations, showers & laundromats and recycle it to use in toilet flushing.

We are implementing an extensive behaviour change programme in the communities around Suvidha centres that encourages people to adopt four simple yet important habits: washing hands with soap; eating nutrition-rich meals; drinking safe water; and using clean toilets to reduce the scope of illness and create good health outcomes for families.

A class of students reading the Swasthya curriculum developed by HUL.

Swasthya Curriculum

Our Swasthya Curriculum behaviour change programme was created intending to teach children the importance of adopting four key hygiene and wellbeing habits. Through this, we teach children in classes 1-5 the importance of washing hands with soap; eating nutrition-rich meals; drinking safe water; and using clean toilets, over a 24-day period.

The textbook version has been rolled out in government schools across Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. We also have a digital curriculum to support online learning; the digital curriculum was piloted in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Delhi.

Since 2018, 5 million children have been educated through the curriculum.

Dove self-esteem programme

7.2 millionpeople reached in India through the Dove self-esteem initiative.

The Dove self-esteem programme, for over 15 years, has been helping young people with self-esteem education, reaching over 69 million lives in 150 countries.

The partnership funding is being directed to UNICEF India’s Life Skills Education programme and contributes to the Government of India’s Samagrha Shiksha Abhiyan (SMSA) programme. Under the SMSA programme, the Ministry of Education has a clear mandate to deliver a comprehensive life skills education curriculum. Our partnership is supporting teachers with specific training on self-esteem and body confidence through educational materials, under the agreement with the Government of India. The programme has reached 7.2 million lives.

A picture of a young girl wearing a white and blue top.

Asha Daan

In 1976, we supported Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity and established Asha Daan in Mumbai - a home for ailing and destitute people.

To date, we maintain the premises and care for around 350 people living in the home, at any given time.

Currently, the home is under redevelopment to equip the centre with better facilities and additional facilities such as a courtyard for walking and play area for kids.

A picture of Mother Teresa blessing a young boy at Ashadaan, Byculla.

Rabie, T and Curtis, V. (2006): Handwashing and risk of respiratory infections: a quantitative systematic review. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 11(3), 258-267.


Luby S, et al. The effect of handwashing at recommended times with water alone and with soap on child diarrhea in rural Bangladesh: An observational study. PLoS Med, 2011; 8(6)


Based on estimations for all 16 Suvidha centres

Back to top