Reducing diarrhoeal and respiratory disease through handwashing

The threat of child mortality due to diarrhoeal and respiratory diseases still looms large on India. Around 0.9 million children under the age of five die due to these diseases in India[1]. Handwashing with soap has been cited as one of the most cost-effective solutions to improve health & hygiene and reduce infant mortality.

Through Lifebuoy’s handwashing behaviour change initiatives, we promote the benefits of handwashing with soap at key times during the day and encourage people to sustain good handwashing behaviours. In 2018, we reached out to 1.3 million people directly through the initiative. Since inception, we have reached out to over 68 million people in India.

We have been driving handwashing behaviour change programmes in partnership with Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI), Plan, World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and NGO Naman Seva Samiti in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Through the programmes, the practice of using soap at critical occasions every day is spread across communities protecting people from infections.

Global Handwashing Day

Every year, on 15 October, we celebrate GHD to spread the message on the importance of handwashing habits among school children. This year we reached out to a total of 17,371 children studying in schools in urban slums, schools for tribal children and ‘anganwadi’ centres across cities of Mumbai and Bangalore.

Providing safe drinking water

According to statistics, 67% of Indian households do not treat drinking water, even though it could be chemically or bacterially contaminated[2]. HUL’s Pureit provides safe drinking water without the hassles of boiling or a continuous tap water supply and provides complete protection from all water-borne diseases.

Globally, so far, Pureit has cumulatively provided over 106 billion litres of safe drinking water. In India, Pureit has provided over 89 billion litres of safe drinking water till date.

We have also partnered with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to provide safe drinking water for people at the bottom of the income pyramid. In 2017,we partnered with the Water Health International (WHI) – global experts in community water systems with an objective to pilot a new business model to reach households who cannot afford to have their own Pureit water purifier at home. Pureit set up four community water plants in the city of Tumkur near Bangalore which provides safe drinking water for about INR 8-10 per 20 litres.These plants have provided more than 26 million litres of water till date.

Improving access to sanitation

Domex Toilet Academy (DTA)

Launched in 2014 as a unique market-based entrepreneurial model to support the Government of India’s Swachch Bharat Mission, and improve sanitation coverage across the country, the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) trained 600 micro-entrepreneurs and masons to help build and maintain toilets; provide access to micro-financing and create demand for toilets in low-income households impacting over one million people.

In 2017, DTA pivoted its model to move the focus from ‘Access’ to ‘Usage’ through a behaviour change model. DTA partnered with PSI India to reach out to more than 0.28 million people in 101 villages in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh with strategic interventions and communications. This behaviour change model has shown early encouraging results with a sharp increase in toilet usage and cleaning across age groups and gender.

Last year Domex launched ‘Pick Up The Brush’ campaign featuring male movie superstars to lead a movement to unstereotype the act of toilet cleaning and urging everyone to take responsibility to keep the toilets clean. As the member of Toilet Board coalition, we are supporting ‘Toilet Accelerator’ programme to help start-ups in the space of sanitation to pitch, deploy and scale up their innovations/business models.

Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat

Our ‘Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat’ programme is in line with Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) to promote good health & hygiene practices. In 2018, the programme continued to promote these practices by stressing the need to adopt three clean habits of washing hands five times a day, using a toilet for defecation and adopting safe drinking water practices.

Mass Media Campaign – Playing Billion

The ‘Playing Billion’ campaign film puts the spotlight on the importance of hygiene through a moving story of a group of kids who miss out on the simple joys of childhood due to repeated illness and urges people to adopt the three simple hygiene habits. The campaign has received 101 million YouTube views.

Swachhata Doot (messenger of cleanliness)

More than 3,000 employees at 25 of our factories in India have embraced a new role as agents of change (Swachhata Doots). They educate and motivate their communities to adopt better WASH habits. Our volunteers have reached out to 13.5 million people since 2015 through this programme.

Swachhata Curriculum

HUL contributes to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra’s Village Social Transformation Mission (VSTM) through its Swachhata Curriculum. This curriculum teaches students of class 1 - 5 about the three clean habits in a fun and engaging manner across a 21-day period in partnership with the local government, and the Society for Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA). The programme has reached 0.55 million students so far.

Suvidha – The community hygiene centre

HUL’s ‘Suvidha’ centre is first-of-its-kind urban water, hygiene and sanitation community centre in one of the largest slums in Mumbai. The community centre provides drinking water, sanitation, handwashing, shower facilities and laundry services at an affordable cost. The centre uses circular economy principles to reduce water use. The centre was built in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Pratha Samajik Sanstha, a community-based organisation. The centre caters to over 1,500 people in the slum.

Start a little good

To make a real difference, we need every Indian to take action. With this objective in mind, in December 2018, we launched a campaign, ‘Start a little good’ to urge consumers to take small actions in the areas of water conservation, plastic waste management, and teaching good hygiene habits. The campaign has reached out to 1.1 million people by the end of 2018.

Improve self-esteem

Globally 8 out of 10 girls opt out of key life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look. In India, 6 in 10 girls say they do not have high body esteem3. Dove has a mission to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look helping young people raise their self-esteem and realise their full potential.

For more than ten years, we have been helping young people with self-esteem education, reaching over twenty million lives globally. In India, we are working with partners such as Fountainhead and WAGGGS to reach out to two million girls by 2020.

3The 2017 Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report

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