Remember when we were in school? I am talking about the time over a decade earlier – when we went to a school that was the closest to home and was known to have a good reputation (or sometimes, just didn’t charge too much in fees, as no parents had much money to spare for the same). We would mostly walk to school, right? School buses were for the big, fancy schools that we couldn’t afford.
So there we were, walking to school, in our nicely pressed uniform (the only other uniform set drying on the clothesline); and carrying our books and tiffin boxes with us in those old fashioned school bags. PE period was for exercise once a week and for play the other two days. And recess was for us to have our snacks! There were no restrictions on junk food then as junk food wasn’t as big a part of our diet anyway, and most of us would go straight from the PE period to the snack break at least three days a week. Of course, we would be told to wash our hands before food; but who had the time to remember such admonitions of our parents? Weren’t we in a hurry to run to the playground if we had any time to spare?
Well, school finished, so did college; we grew up, got married and had children! Now these children go to school; and do the same thing. They pay no heed to our admonitions about hygiene either! Only, our children have one thing going for them that we didn’t – at least on the front of personal hygiene, many schools are coming up with very strict rules and our little ones now carry small bottles of hand sanitizers to school! Most public toilets also have liquid soaps in dispensers today to promote personal hygiene that benefits one and all.
But this is all okay when it comes to city life. Have we ever wondered about our counterparts in villages? After all, bulk of our country still lives in the villages and it is in fact there, that there is more and more need for awareness about personal hygiene! While most of our children carry sanitizers to school and at least some of them use it; there are millions of children across our country who go to schools in villages which lack, not only in basic infrastructure but also in inculcating the basic habits of personal hygiene. We can’t even blame the parents in these situations as most of them are uneducated themselves and barely even think about personal hygiene themselves; and those who do, can barely afford to buy clothes or even food; let alone soaps or sanitizers!
Yes, teachers and school authorities do insist on hygiene and most children do find themselves holding their hands under the trickle of water at the taps in the school compound; but they barely wet their hands before they run for the meal, let alone use soap or any other cleanser for a better cleaning experience! So how is it then, that we get the awareness of personal hygiene to these little children in our villages? How do we make them understand the importance of healthy habits and ensure that they follow these habits on an everyday basis?
Well, as a mother of an active grade-schooler, I can tell you, there’s only one way – through fun and interesting intervention! Believe me, there is nothing children learn faster than when told something in a fun way that holds their interest! And I was really happy to recently see Savlon release a video on Children’s Day that is exactly that – fun, interesting and hitting the point perfectly home!
Through their Swasth India Mission, Savlon has come up with unique Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks, that look and work like normal chalk sticks but are magical! Yes, used as a normal chalk, they also leave powder residue on the hands and when children go to wash their hands, they are surprised by this powder forming lather! Now they have fun playing with the lather and have no option but to wash their hands clean of the soap content! What better way to get children involved in their own hygiene; and let them have fun at the same time too?
Every company, big or small, undertakes certain activities as part of their corporate social responsibility; but there are few who think so much in detail and come up with something that will really make a difference to people’s lives, to children’s lives. Of course, my sincere hope is that, since many children are in the habit of eating chalk (like some eat ice or others eat sand); it is better to for all children to be given adequate, repeated warnings by their teachers and school authorities about not putting these particular pieces of chalk sticks in their mouths as it actually contains soap!
But apart from that, I am happy to see a trusted company like Savlon coming up with this unique idea that actually works! I wish more and more companies came up with something sensible like this that will not only appeal to their target consumers, but also really work for them!
In villages where basic education, sanitation and personal hygiene are just about making their presence felt; this unique initiative by Savlon is sure to work wonders in creating awareness and making healthy habits a part of these children’s everyday life!
Image Courtesy: Pixabay.com
Video Courtesy: Savlon India