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Lifebuoy celebrated Global Handwashing Day (GHD) this year by launching their first ever children’s alphabet book – H for Handwashing. The book, written by author Ruskin Bond, who has integrated hand hygiene concepts with the English alphabet seamlessly. The Ministry of Education, Government of India has partnered with NGOs to disseminate the book across schools in the country.

At the launch event, the H for Handwashing book was officially released in the presence of Ruskin Bond, Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and MD, HUL; Kajol, Lifebuoy’s handwashing ambassador; and officials of the Union Education Ministry.

Click here to View the full book

HUL’s Mehta said, “Even today, globally over 1 million children under the age of five die due to diarrhoea and pneumonia – diseases that can be prevented by the simple act of washing hands with soap. The pandemic has made the need for handwashing more crucial. Today, we are taking a significant step towards ensuring handwashing behaviour change among children as we launch our very first book that teaches good habits of handwashing at a very young and impressionable age. The book has been authored by none other than Ruskin Bond, who is not only a celebrated writer but also one who understands children very well. In his inimitable style, he has created a great book and I am sure this will help reinforce the importance of handwashing among children. I would sincerely like to thank the Education Ministry of India for endorsing our H for Handwashing initiative. The need for handwashing has become a global necessity, especially in the last two years. But now it’s time to ensure that our future generations don’t have to wait for something as dire as a pandemic to understand its importance.”

Kajol said, “After having been associated with Lifebuoy for over a decade, it just makes me extremely proud to be a part of this celebration. This is special to me, because, as mothers, we know how very particular we are about cleanliness and hygiene. I genuinely believe that habits are best formed when children are still impressionable and learning new things. This celebration makes me especially happy, because it involves one of my favourite authors Ruskin Bond. On behalf of every parent, I would sincerely like to thank the Ministry of Education for their support in endorsing this wonderful and imaginative initiative.”

Bond said, “Writing books for children is what I do, but this time it was different. When Lifebuoy came to me with this concept, I was intrigued and excited as this was something I had not done before. The H for Handwashing Alphabet book will always be special, because not only it is the first time that I have written something like that for kids, but also because it is a part of something that is so big and meaningful. The H for Handwashing campaign by Lifebuoy is a great initiative and I hope that the Alphabet book can add value to it and teach the future generations the importance of maintaining hand hygiene.”

Lifebuoy co-founded Global Handwashing Day with the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008. The brand runs one of the world’s largest hygiene behaviour change programmes backed by strong partnerships and has reached over 1 billion people across 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America since 2010.

Last year, Lifebuoy globally launched the award-winning “H for Handwashing” campaign. This campaign is a means to encourage hand hygiene behaviour change by integrating it with the school curriculum. The campaign is based on the premise that in the early years of cognitive development children are taught the alphabet wherein H stands for Handwashing and not only for Hat, Horse, Hippo, etc.