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06 Dec 2023, Edition - 3067, Wednesday

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Global Handwash Day: Health begins with clean hands

Indrani Thakurata


I always spy on my cook before he starts cutting the vegetables. Although I have instructed him to wash his hands before he begins to cook, but who knows. This is no news that hand wash before cooking, before eating and after sanitation is a must. But we forget and, scary as hell, some of us don’t know. I remember, my class teacher from my primary school used to ask us to smell our hands for the soap scent. That was her way of ensuring that we washed before eating our tiffin.

Global Hand wash Day is an important day in the calendar that was created at the annual World Water Week which was held at Stockholm in the year 2008. This initiative was brought along with the International Year of Sanitation. Some habits, like washing our hands periodically with soap is a habit that should be inculcated in the early years of growing up. ” We should teach our kids to wash hands with soap, and that should be a habit. We are trying to create awareness. In a country like ours, it is very important that we maintain the basic hygiene to prevent ourselves from diseases caused by bacteria and viruses,” says Ajeet Singh, Establishment Manager, KidZania.

Global Hand wash Day is being celebrated worldwide. According to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 1.4 million children younger than 5 around the world die each year from diarrhea diseases and pneumonia. ” We are not even aware of the right way of washing our hands. There is a technique. And if kids are taught through educational and entertaining games, the importance of this day, they will remember it for the rest of their lives. And that’s what we have tried doing. After all, health begins with clean hands,” explains Ajeet.

In our country, because of the lack of basic hygiene and facilities around it, we suffer from diseases that can be controlled or kicked off. “Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan is driving the campaign involving making of toilets and using toilet for sanitation as opposed to open defecation. But many of us can’t afford soap and therefore carry germs which affects them and the people around. And as for people who can afford and still don’t– this awareness campaign will help them put things in perspective,” says Dr Uma Basu, General Practitioner.

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