Promoting hand hygiene

From now on my friends and me will wash our hands ­thoroughly with soap and water before lunch,” says Vandana (14), a Class 9 student and Rotary Hygiene ­Ambassador of Malleswaram ­Government Girls High School, ­Bengaluru. She ensures that her ­family including her siblings follow the habit regularly because “handwashing will keep diseases away and help us stay healthy.” Vandana was one of the participants of a ‘mega handwash and hygiene awareness drive’ that was ­conducted by D 3190 in 603 ­government schools across the District as part of their WinS initiative.

IPDG H R Ananth briefs a news channel about the WinS project in the ­presence of (from L) B K Bhaskar, past President of RC Bangalore West, WinS Coordinator K S Nagendra and Sudheer Srinivas, GM – Himalaya Drugs.

“This is one of our flagship ­programmes and around 93,000 ­students participated,” says PDG and District WinS Coordinator K S Nagendra.

Volunteers in action

A WinS committee was formed with 550 volunteers from 58 Rotary clubs and 17 partner clubs including Innerwheel, Rotaract clubs, RCCs and NGOs like Akshaya Patra. Two ­volunteers were sent to each school to educate students on proper ­personal hygiene practices. They delivered a 20-minute ­demonstration on ­handwashing and hygiene, ­distributed awareness materials and put up ­posters. Rotary Hygiene Ambassadors were appointed from among the senior students to ­monitor sanitation habits of the children in each school. The ­committee will ensure continuity of the programme through scheduled visits.

The programme, supported by the Karnataka Government was ­inaugurated by State Primary and ­Secondary ­Education Minister ­Tanveer Sait. Appreciating Rotary’s initiative, he invited Rotary to be part of a core NGO committee that the State will be soon forming for the development of Government schools. “Rotary’s action is stronger than words and can ­definitely achieve the desired goals,” he said.

Students demonstrate the handwash exercise in one of the schools.
Students demonstrate the handwash exercise in one of the schools.

Pharma major Himalaya Drugs provided the handwash kits which ­contained a bookmark with ­instructions on handwash procedure, in English and Kannada, soaps and a poster on personal hygiene.

Last year, almost 200 Government schools had benefitted from a ­similar project. “We constructed ­toilets, ­refurbished handwash stations and provided RO drinking water ­facilities to schools. We will extend these ­programmes to more schools this year too,” says Nagendra.

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