Health & hygiene
In the area of health and hygiene, through our water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives we focus on behaviour change programmes. Our purpose-driven home and personal care brands such as Lifebuoy (handwashing programme), Domex (improved sanitation) and Pureit (providing safe drinking water) spearhead these behaviour change programmes across India. Our efforts in the area of health and hygiene have so far reached over 140 million people in India.
Reducing diarrhoeal and respiratory disease through handwashing
Every year, in India, 1.3 million children die before they reach the age of five, many due to preventable infections. Handwashing with soap has been cited as one of the most cost-effective solutions to address this challenge1. A review of several studies show that the simple act of handwashing in institutions, such as primary schools and day care centres, reduces the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases by an average of 30 per cent.
Our Lifebuoy handwashing behaviour change initiatives help in promoting the benefits of handwashing with soap at key times during the day and encouraging people to sustain good handwashing behaviours. Till date, we have reached out to over 67 million people in India.
Global Handwashing Day
Every year, on 15 October, we celebrate Global Handwashing Day (GHD) to spread the message about the importance of handwashing habits among school children. On the occasion of GHD, our employees reach out to children in schools across India. The programme highlights include storytelling, interactive games and taking a pledge to drive the importance of handwashing with soap during five key times during the day.
In 2017, we celebrated GHD with the help of our partners World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Plan India in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Providing safe drinking water
In the developing world, 80% diseases are water-related. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that diarrhoeal disease can be reduced by up to 45% if water quality is ensured up to the point-of-consumption2. Pureit has been working towards making safe water accessible and affordable to millions. Pureit’s most affordable range of purifiers provide safe drinking water at a running cost of just 30 paisa per litre without the hassles of boiling, or need of electricity or a continuous tap water supply. In India, Pureit has provided over 83 billion litres of safe drinking water till date.
We have also been partnering with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to provide safe drinking water for people at the bottom of the income pyramid.
Improving access to sanitation
Approximately 792 million Indians live without improved sanitation, of which, some 597 million people continue to defecate in the open. These statistics clearly show the scale and complexity of the problem in India. There is critical need to improve access to sanitation facilities. Launched in 2014, Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) is a unique market-based entrepreneurial model created by HUL to bring a positive impact on the health and well-being of the community while enhancing livelihoods. Currently operational in Bihar, it is a market facilitation project to increase sanitation coverage and encourage safe and hygienic use of a toilet.
DTA works in partnership with Population Services International (PSI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The programme trains entrepreneurs and masons to supply, install and maintain toilets for local households; builds supply chains for sanitation hardware; provides access to micro-financing and creates demand for sanitation in underserved communities. It thus provides jobs while promoting the importance of safe and hygienic sanitation practices in local communities.
In 2017, the programme was implemented in over 5,000 villages across Bihar reaching over 6 lakh people. Since its inception, the DTA has trained more than 600 micro-entrepreneurs.
To date, over 200,000 toilets have been built, benefiting over 1.1 million people.
Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat
Our ‘Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat’ (SASB) programme is in line with Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) to promote good health and hygiene practices. In 2017, the programme continued to promote good health and hygiene practices by stressing the need to adopt three simple good habits (‘Swachh Aadat’) – washing hands five times a day, using a toilet for defecation and adopting safe drinking water practices.
Mass Media Campaign – Playing Billion
‘A Playing Billion’ campaign was launched on January 10, 2018. The new campaign film puts a 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 89 million YouTube views.
Swachhata Doot (messenger of cleanliness)
This is a volunteering programme that enables any person to become a change agent in his/her community. It is a mobile-led WASH communication model to help create awareness on the three clean habits in communities. Till date, we have reached 7.5 million people through this programme.
This curriculum teaches students of class 1 - 5 about the three habits of washing hands with soap, adopting safe drinking water practices and using clean toilets. It provides a conceptual understanding of cleanliness, germs and the clean habits to be adopted in a fun and engaging manner across a 21 – day period. Till date, 1.2 lakh students across 1,165 primary schools in Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh and 90 primary schools across Maharashtra under the Village Social Transformation Mission have been reached through the Swachh Aadat curriculum.
Suvidha – The community hygiene centre
HUL has built a first-of-its-kind urban water, hygiene and sanitation community centre named ‘Suvidha’ in Azad Nagar, Ghatkopar, in one of the largest slums in Mumbai. The centre was built in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Pratha Samajik Sanstha, a community-based organisation. The centre addresses the hygiene needs of 1,500 people from low-income urban households who face severe challenges due to lack of infrastructure and facilities. It provides toilets that flush, handwashing facilities with soap, clean showers, safe drinking water and laundry facilities at significantly lower costs than market.
Suvidha centre uses circular economy principles to reduce water use. Fresh water is first used for brushing teeth, bathing, handwashing and laundry. The waste water from these activities becomes the input for flushing toilets. The centre also promotes a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. There are separate entrances for women and girls, which can be accessed at night. A secure and safe children’s play area has been built on the roof.
Dove has supported women to see beauty as a source of confidence and not anxiety. However, anxiety over appearance keeps girls from being their best selves, affecting their health, friendships, and even performance at school. 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 10 years, we’ve been helping young people with self-esteem education, reaching over 20 Million lives globally. In India, in 2017 alone we worked with partners such as Fountainhead and WAGGGS to reach out to 0.45 Million girls.
3The 2017 Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report