Clean surroundings and following good hygiene are often the two pre-requisites to staying fit and healthy. Yet, these are the oft ignored habits in one's routine, which gives rise to several diseases.
In order to promote the importance of hygiene, Hindustan Unilever has, on December 4, announced the launch of the 'Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat' programme, which endorses the Government of India's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) mission to promote good health and hygiene practices. Given the scale of challenges that India faces in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), this programme is an effort to help India realise the goals of Clean India Mission by 2019. Interestingly, this is a first-of-its-kind multi-brand behaviour change programme from HUL.
The Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat programme has two key thrusts: an on-ground behaviour change model, and a mass media campaign to drive engagement and awareness. Swachh Basti is the on-ground behaviour change model where HUL has piloted a behaviour change model in the slums of Mumbai and Delhi.
The programme is being undertaken with the support of municipal corporations to reach out to students in municipal schools where a four-week behaviour change programme was conducted through engaging activities like skits, demos and jingles.
The programme also covers mothers and other stakeholders in the local community such as doctors and support groups to create awareness and develop champions within schools and the community. HUL claims to have touched one lakh lives until now, through multiple engagement points (school contact programme, home-to-home programme and neonatal programme). The programme aims to reach out to two lakh people by the end of 2015.
An ad for the mass media campaign, Haath, Mooh aur Bum, Bimari Hogi Kam, has been launched to promote hygiene awareness across the country. It plans to reach out to 75 million people across India and intends to popularise the three practices for healthy living -- washing hands five times a day with soap, adopt safe drinking water practices, and use a toilet for defecation purposes and keep it clean. The ad conveys the message through kids, used as agents of change, running around the neighbourhood telling everyone how to adopt these practices in order to prevent illnesses and stay healthy. The campaign has tried to promote the same through its three brands - Lifebuoy, Pureit and Domex.
The programme highlights the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan's global ambition to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being. It claims to have touched the lives of 120 million people through its health and well-being programmes in India since its launch in 2010.
Handwashing programmes by Lifebuoy claims to have protected 63 million people, Pureit's safe drinking water programme claims to have touched 56 million lives, and over 3,000 toilets have been built through the Domex Toilet Academy.