Bhawana Anand, New Delhi
Savlon, ITC’s leading hygiene brand, unveiled Savlon Swasth India Mission, a programme designed to encourage behavioural change towards washing hands amongst children through various engaging and entertaining educational initiatives in schools. In line with Savlon Swasth India’s proposition of ‘Healthier Kids, Stronger India’, the brand experimented with an ancient engaging activity i.e. Storytelling and visual engagement to educate and encourage children to adopt good hand hygiene practices.
ITC’s integrated approach to hygiene and sanitation as part of its social investment programme was launched a few years back. In addition to building sanitation infrastructure, this rural activation programme was focused on hygiene and sanitation education through extensive awareness building programmes designed to induce behavioural change. Students and teachers were trained on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) principles, and students were motivated to form WATSAN (Water and Sanitation) Committees and Child Cabinets to take ownership of WASH areas in schools. Savlon Swasth India Mission was to accelerate and reinforce ITC’s ongoing efforts in sanitation and hygiene education in India.
Sharing his thoughts, Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC Limited, stated, “Hand Hygiene is a critical issue. We believe, to induce behavioural change among children, the process of communication and education has to be fun, engaging and memorable. In that context, Savlon Swasth India’s ‘Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks’ is a simple yet interesting innovation. It is an engaging way to educate children on the importance of washing hands especially before eating. This is one of the various educational tools deployed by the Savlon Swasth India team to help initiate children into the habit of washing hands.”
On the eve of Children’s day, Savlon Swasth India Mission introduced an innovative engagement with Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks - a set of unique chalk sticks infused with cleansers like soap. The chalk sticks were designed to engage children in primary schools and emphasise the importance of washing hands before eating.
The genesis of this idea was curtailed from the observation of everyday habits of children in schools which use chalk and slate. Most of them use their hands to write as well as erase their slates. Their hands are usually full of chalk powder at the end of their lessons. The lessons are followed by a meal break and washing hands is sometimes limited to a quick water wash under a tap. Access to basic hygiene may at times be a challenge and washing hands with cleansers like soap before a meal is yet to become a widespread habit.
With Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks the chalk powder on the hand turns into a cleanser like soap and generates lather as soon as it is placed under water. The chalk dust forming lather on washing with water is a unique experience that engages children, and educates them on the importance of cleaning with cleansers.
The unique Chalk Sticks is a first of its kind initiative, in a series of on ground activities being undertaken by Savlon Swasth India Mission. Savlon Swasth India mission has already reached out to more than 3 Lac children and aims to reach 1 million children in a year.
Harshad Rajadhyaksha, ECD Ogilvy Mumbai, commented on the initiative, “Before anything else, I would like to really thank the client who partnered us to make this happen. It wasn't easy but they never made us feel it was impossible. Savlon is on a great path and we intend to take the brand from strength to strength.”
Kainaz Karmakar, ECD Ogilvy Mumbai, spoke about this campaign, “If we can use our skills of ideation to make a difference to not just the brands but the lives of people, it's a special kind of joy. The 'Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks' initiative sets out to do just that. Even if one kid is saved from an illness because of this initiative we will all go home happy.
Ramakrishnan Hariharan, Senior Creative Director, Ogilvy Mumbai added, “This is a perfect example of a simple idea’s potential. All of world’s complex issues actually have simple solutions. All it takes is an effort to hunt for such ideas and implement them. Kudos to the entire team for believing in it. This is truly inspiring work. “