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Consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser carried out one of its largest content initiatives, ‘Cleanathon’, as a part of its Dettol Harpic Banega Swachh India campaign to drive bigger transformational change with special focus on achieving a healthy and hygienic India by 2019.

In its fifth year, the NDTV-Dettol Harpic Banega Swachh India Cleanthon, a 12-hour live television event, looked back at the achievements of the last five years of the campaign and set the future agenda of the initiative. Together with campaign ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the annual Cleanathon has worked for five years to help build toilets in rural areas, conduct clean-up drives and spread awareness about sanitation, health and hygiene across India.

Taking forward last year’s agenda of a holistic approach to Swachhta by promoting three key steps — Swachh Zameen, Swachh Hawa and Swachh Pani — RB continues its outreach to urge the common man to keep “Mere10Guz”, 10 yards around him sanitary and unpolluted by taking small steps in that direction.

Commenting on the development, Rakesh Kapoor, CEO, RB, said, “We are extremely proud of the pioneering work we are doing under the Dettol Harpic Banega Swachh India campaign that is driving behaviour change and empowering people with better health and hygiene outcomes. Through the programme, we have already directly reached 12 million Indians across 80 districts and nine states in the country and are seeing positive results. I strongly believe that a Swachh India is a Swasth India. While much has been accomplished, there is more to do and therefore our focus going forward will be to sustain the momentum we have gained so far, which will inadvertently lead to improving the general quality of lives.”

Along with the Cleanathon, RB has been carrying out several other initiatives to achieve the goals of the campaign.

As part of behaviour change communication activations, Dettol Harpic BSI plans to expand its hygiene and sanitation curriculum to six lakh madrasas and gurukuls, reaching out to over seven crore school kids across multiple states in India. Additionally, the Dettol E-Curriculum will reach over four lakh schools by 2019. Efforts will also be made towards increased training and capacity building among school teachers to ensure effectiveness of the curriculum.

Impact created as part of the Dettol Harpic Banega Swachh India in the past four years:

As a result of the community behaviour change programme:

  • 12% increase in the number of toilets constructed in less than a year by the community itself.
  • 85,000 economic working days were saved due to reduction in sickness due to poor health and hygiene occurring out of diarrhoea.
  • In partnership with Jagran Pehel and, RB rolled out a sanitation credit facility in Parbani and Nanded districts of Maharashtra through which 5,000 loan sanctions were facilitated.
  • A World Toilet College was launched in Aurangabad to help train 5,000 sanitation workers in its first year.
  • With an aim to mitigate air pollution, RB in association with SankalpTaru and GIWA together successfully planted 200,000 trees across the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. These will produce 2,36,00,000 litre of oxygen, retain 600,000 million gallons of water released into atmosphere and help with 200,000 tonnes of carbon offset.
  • In association with ASSOCHAM, RB launched an awareness programme around stubble burning in (Patiala) that reached out to 211,000 people across 42,200 households in 95 villages with complete support of the State Health Minister, Pollution Control Board and the Punjab Agriculture University.
  • The Hygiene Index rolled out across 25 cities in India led to:
  • 60% cities improving their per capita investment vis-à-vis last year in various hygiene sectors
  • 52% cities improved their access to toilets and 40% cities demonstrated better utilisation of funds for behavioural change and communication activities
  • Resulted in the reduction of the cases of gastrointestinal diseases with 36% of the cities exhibiting improvement in the health sector.
  • In partnership with Swades Foundation, built 25,000 toilets in Raigarh district in Maharashtra.