As part of its Healthy Hand Wash Programme along with NGO School Health Annual Report Programme (SHARP), leading disinfectant brand Dettol said that it had reached out to 14 lakh students in 3,114 schools in 65 cities across India.
"The objective of the Healthy Hand Washing Programme is to create awareness among the young children about importance of hand washing and its benefits. The target audience for the program were children from the primary sections. The nationwide extensive educative programme engaging the students' community is a part of Dettol's continued endeavour to promote good hygiene practices among the people at large," a company statement said.
Unicef estimates that diarrhea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually which can be reduced by 50 percent through proper hand washing with soap SHARP director Maneka Sharma said.
Emphasizing the need for proper hand washing, Narendra Saini, India representative of the Global Hygiene Council said: "Germs can get transferred into our bodies by a simple touch and hands become the easiest touch-points for their transfer.
"If we remember to wash our hands at certain important times and after select activities during the day, we can substantially reduce our chances of becoming ill. Simple hand washing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs," Saini added.
According to Chander Mohan Sethi, senior vice president (South East Asia), Reckitt Benckiser, said: "Children in this tender age are at a very impressionable age. They are vulnerable and susceptible to infections whether being in the class or outside or at home. We believe that this is the right age to inculcate health and hygiene habits in them."
During the outreach, children were educated and shown the correct way of hand washing. The students took apledge to always follow a proper hand wash regime. A 'Dettol 100 percent attendance certificate' was presented for students with regular attendance in school along with a first aid kit. Posters depicting proper hand wash techniques was presented to the principals of the participating schools.