Making Hand-Washing a Happy Hygiene Habit
Written specially for Vikalp Sangam website
Grampari has a tradition of hosting a Global Hand-washing Day event every year. Celebrating hand-washing however is not a one off event for them, for they have a busy WASH program operating all year round! Grampari is a a rural development organization that works with communities in Maharashtra in the areas of Governance, Livelihoods Development, Watershed Management, Environmental Sustainability and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. Located in Panchgani, off the Wai-Panchgani hill road in Satara district in Western Maharashtra, they are the rural outreach branch of the global organization Initiatives of Change.
Grampari runs a school hand-washing campaign that promotes hand washing with soap – a low cost, high impact intervention which they say has the potential to prevent over 40% of child deaths. They go from school to school and make presentations using videos, display posters and also sing a song on the importance of the hygienic ritual with awesome handwashing motions. They then put children in charge of daily “clean hand” checks including looking under the nails! They take it a step further when they get the kids to set up Tippy-Taps at their school and the hope is that the children will then feel inspired to then set up a tippy-tap in their own home as well! The tippy-tap is a simple home-made hand washing contraption that uses cheap, accessible, recycled materials. It makes hand washing fun, saves water, and no plumbing is involved; just rocks where the disposed water can be filtered and go back into the ground and greenery grows in its wake! (Watch it work!).
This affordable and effective arrangement is easy to maintain and makes it possible for children to wash hands easily and hygienically with less water. And hopefully because it’s so easy, fun, and affordable, hand-washing will become a happy habit! Here’s the manual downloadable in many languages.
Photos – Grampari