On Global Handwashing Day, JICA India undertook activities to increase awareness about hygiene and cleanliness

New Delhi : Global Handwashing Day is observed internationally to inculcate hygienic and clean habits among citizens. The importance of keeping our hands clean and washing them well is widely known, and has become even more crucial with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made regular handwashing and sanitizing, the need of the hour. Thus, this day is of utmost importance to not only contain COVID-19, but also to avoid the spread of other infectious and communicable diseases that can be prevented via good hygiene practices.
Earlier this year, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched the “Achhi Aadat (Good Habit)” Campaign to inculcate better and cleaner practices among people in India. Considering the urgency of preventing the spread of coronavirus, the Campaign aims to encourage regular and proper handwashing, nail cleaning and wearing masks the correct way. This in turn would ensure better health and safety for ourselves as well as the people around us. JICA, in collaboration with IJ Kakehashi Services Pvt Ltd, along with partner NGOs, governments and other private companies, has been implementing the Campaign to spread awareness to the people in all over the India.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. SAITO Mistunori, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “Proper hygiene is the need of the hour and keeping this in mind, JICA India aims to not only increase awareness about the same in India, but also hopes to inculcate practices in children and adults to maintain the same. For this, we have undertaken various activities and distributed several packets of sanitary products, alongside offline and online events to promote proper hygiene. Keeping in mind the still prevalent COVID-19 pandemic, the Achhi Aadat Campaign launched by JICA India aims to spearhead a cleanliness and hygiene movement. Our activities towards Global Handwashing Day aims to keep the spirit of the same alive.”
Several activities have been carried under JICA’s Achhi Aadat Campaign since its inception in January 2021, including the distribution of sanitary products, awareness drives using animated videos and characters, etc. For Global Handwashing Day, under the same Campaign, JICA India undertook various activities between 1st to 15th October in different parts of the country. This included a contest for children to showcase their talents while learning more about good hygiene, a collaboration with Ryohin-Keikaku Reliance India Pvt. Ltd. (MUJI) to promote cleanliness, a special online event, and lastly, a social media campaign around the day and its significance.
Contests for Children: Keeping in mind that children are the “Change Agents” of tomorrow, JICA hosted a contest for children between the ages of 6 and 15 years to promote good hygiene from a young age. The aim was to foster awareness about the importance of hand washing and help them understand the same in an enjoyable and inventive manner under the Achhi Aadat Campaign. The theme for the contest was “Promoting Correct Handwashing Habit in All” and had 5 categories for participation including Video creation, Photography, Poster Making, Drawing “Hello Kitty” as a Special Character. There were also awards for the contests, which were disseminated to respective winners at JICA India’s online event held on October 14.
Collaboration with MUJI: JICA India collaborated with MUJI under the Achhi Aadat Campaign to celebrate the Global Handwashing Month of October. MUJI stores in three malls in Indian metro cities, namely Select City Walk in New Delhi, Mall of India in Noida, and Palladium Mall in Mumbai, created Achhi Aadat corners between 2nd-15th October. This included the display of AAC corners consisting of audio-visual elements as well as photo booth. Alongside these handy corners promoting JICA India’s cleanliness Campaign, these stores also held collaborative events holding promotional activities along the same lines on 2nd and 3rd October in Mumbai, and on 9th and 10th October in New Delhi and Noida. During this events, JICA have successfully reached around 700 people across all 3 MUJI stores.
Special Online Event for Global Handwashing Day: On the culmination of Global Handwashing Day, JICA India held a special online event, which was graced by Hello Kitty, live from Japan, who celebrated Global Handwashing Day. The event also included an award ceremony for the winning participants of the online contest organized for children. The winners were awarded with exciting gift hampers that included book vouchers, hygiene products (masks, soaps, etc.) and exciting Hello Kitty products.
Social Media Campaign: The Embassy of Japan in India, JICA India, implementing agencies, partner companies and partner NGOs shared their messages and viewpoints encouraging hygienic practices as per the AAC Campaign to raise awareness about the vitality of handwashing.
With the Achhi Aadat Campaign, JICA India hopes to resonate with individuals in the country to instill hygiene and sanitary best practices to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and for being cleaner in our daily lives as well.