Teach The 3 Simple Habits
Where should I begin?
1. Start at home
2. Join our programme on ground
If you are starting at home, start with teaching your helpers.
How should I approach?
Ah! This can be a little tricky.
Do remember, you’re here out of concern and not merely to correct.
Engage slowly and build a conversation.
Let’s say you’d like to teach your maid so that her 3-year old daughter can be prevented from repeated illness.
- Approach her at a time when she is doing a relatively less intensive chore like folding laundry.
You can begin by asking about her daughter’s general health and then gradually move to more specific questions.
How’s your daughter doing? Is she well?
What are your dreams or aspirations for her as she grows?
How important is good health in achieving those dreams?
Once your maid and you are able to establish a link between the importance of health and reaching one’s potential, ask her about her hygiene and sanitation practices. Avoid any direct reference to your home. It may come across as accusatory.
“Didi aap jhaaru-pochha lagaatey ho, khaaney se pehle haath dhotey ho?”
“Sirf paani se haath dhotey ho?”
“Aap din bhar ek ghar se doosra ghar jaatey ho, pani kahaan se peetey ho?"
Questions like these will help you understand her current practices with respect to her hygiene habits.
What should I teach?
The following section contains simple explanations, diagrams and activities to aid you in becoming an effective Swachhata Doot.
As a Swachhata Doot, you need to talk about 3 important topics:
1) What looks clean can be full of germs
Given that germs are invisible, this topic can be a little abstract. We can explain it simply in the following manner:
Germs are invisible (living) things that exist everywhere. They can get easily transferred from one place to another or from one person to another. Germs are extremely harmful, spreading and causing infection and disease. They can only be seen under special light or under a special equipment called the microscope.
Keep in mind:
Just because we cannot see germs doesn't mean that they don’t exist.
Something that looks ‘clean’ maybe full of disease spreading germs.
The concept of germs can also be explained with the help of this simple activity.
Activity: How Visibly Clean Water May Not Be Clean
2) Germs get easily transferred and make people fall ill
The diagram below shows how easily germs can get transferred from our hands (Haath), water (Munh) and the toilet (Bum) to us and make us fall ill.
Keep in mind:
It’s the simple things that we do every day that can make us fall ill- like using the toilet or drinking water.
Further, here’s another simple activity to show how easily germs can spread from one place or person to another.
3) The 3 Clean Habits of Haath-Munh-Bum
Once we have explained the concept of germs and how they spread diseases, we come to the most important part: The 3 clean habits and how their regular and correct practice keep germs and illnesses away from us.
Important to remember:
The first line of defense against diseases is the adoption of clean habits.
Here are simple diagrams that explain the three clean habits.
Habit #1: Haath – Always wash hands with soap
Five critical occasions for washing hands with soap.
How to effectively wash hands with soap?
When we wash our hands with soap, germs get washed away and with them, diseases and infections.
Habit #2: Munh – Always drink clean and safe water
Simple ways to drink clean water
Habit #3: Bum – Always use a clean toilet
When we use a toilet and flush it, the germs from our excreta don’t get a chance to spread as they immediately get washed away.
How to use a toilet and keep it clean.
Behaviour Change Techniques
We all know just how hard it is to give up an existing habit or to form a new one.
Research shows that it takes 21 days to change an old habit or to form a new one.
Once the three habits have been taught, here are two activity suggestions that can help in the adoption and practice of these habits.
- 21-Day Tracker Sheet: Our downloadable booklet has a 21 day tracker sheet which you can print out and stick on the fridge or any other place where it’s easily visible, and track the everyday progress.
- Activity: Kala Bindu This is a simple activity that you can practice for 21 days for the adoption of the habit of washing hands with soap. Take a pen and put a mark on both the palms of the person right after they have completed a ‘dirty’ chore like dusting or sweeping. The person is then required to wash their hands with soap and remove the pen marks before they move on to their next chore.