JanaJal, India’s leading technology-enabled safe-water services provider which has more than 700 water ATMs under its management, has launched a handwashing campaign in Delhi-NCR in the run-up to Global Handwashing Day that falls on October 15.
The 15-day campaign, aimed at educating more than 10,000 people about good handwashing practices, is being conducted in partnership with USAID and Safe Water Network under the ambit of their program SEWAH (Sustainable Enterprises for Water and Health).
Janajal’s newly established Water Knowledge Resource Centres (WKRC) at its water ATMs at AIIMS, New Delhi, and at Bhopura Chowk in Ghaziabad, will educate the community, especially women and children, about the importance of handwashing in preventing diseases and will promote better hand hygienic practices.
Said Dr. Parag Agarwal, Founder & CEO of Delhi NCR-based JanaJal: “This is a very important campaign because clean, germ-free hands help save lives. Handwashing is the easiest way to prevent illnesses and the spread of infection. This simple act takes only 20 seconds but protects people from 15 diseases like diarrhoea, respiratory infections, eye infections, and Hepatitis A. According to research, handwashing reduces the incidence of diarrhoea in a community by up to 40%, of respiratory illnesses like colds by up to 21%, and of absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in school children by as much as 57%.”
More than 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year worldwide from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap could protect 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhoea, and 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia. Though people clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19%. Washing hands with soap and drinking clean water can drastically reduce the incidence of several diseases, keeping people healthy and reducing healthcare expenditure. This is even more important during Covid times. Washing hands with soap and water is the most effective method to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
As part of the campaign, dozens of JanaJal campaigners will spread awareness about the importance of handwashing, distribute pamphlets, display posters at water ATMs, arrange talks by local leaders and doctors, train women on the issue of clean water and handwashing, and conduct quizzes and drawing competitions for children. Slum-dwellers are especially be targeted as part of the handwashing campaign.
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