The games will be made available to over 75,000 kids from Delhi, Punjab and Haryana through government schools and NGO partners.
Lifebuoy has collaborated with Imagimake, a toy design company, to launch the 'H for Handwashing Games', in conjunction with Global Handwashing Day (GHD) on October 15, 2023. These innovative games are guided by the brand's behavior change model and are designed to engage and educate young Indian minds by seamlessly blending the joy of play with the essential practice of hand hygiene.
Recent trends across the globe have shown that the handwashing rates with soap have drastically reduced in the post-COVID era. One of the primary reasons for the decline has been the hygiene fatigue caused by the pandemic. The ‘H for Handwashing Games’ is a direct response from Lifebuoy to this fatigue and aims at reigniting healthy hand hygiene habits amongst the kids by leveraging the transformative power of play.
Sharing his thoughts on the initiative, Kanwar Pal Gujjar, minister of school education of Haryana, said, “Accha swasthya jivan ki asli punji hai. Jo bhi hum karna chahte hai jivan me uske liye humara accha swastha hona bahot zaruri hai. Usme ek bahot hi mahatvapurna ang hai humari haatho ki safai, kyuki bahot hi chhote jivanu humare haatho me chipke rehte hai aur hume unke baare me koi jaankari nahi hoti aur keval ek galti ke hum sahi tarike se apne haatho ko saaf nahi karte, khana khane se pehle nahi dhote nahi to uski vajah se hume bahot si bimariya ho sakti hai. Mein sabhi se nivedan karunga ki apne aap ko swasth rakhne ke liye nishchit taur se hum sab acche tarike se apne haath dhoye taki hum bimariyo se bach sake." (Good health is the real capital of life. Whatever we want to do in life, it is very important for us to have good health. One of the most important aspects of it is to clean our hands, because there are so many tiny germs hiding in our hands. Often we have no idea about these germs and eat food without washing our hands properly leading to many diseases. I would request everyone to ensure that we wash our hands properly to keep ourselves healthy and avoid diseases.)
Commenting on the launch, Madhusudhan Rao, executive director and general manager - South Asia (Beauty & Personal Care), Hindustan Unilever, said, “The H for Handwashing Games upholds our brand’s purpose and commitment to inspire and foster good hygiene habits that last a lifetime. The reimagined classic board games from India creatively addresses the hygiene fatigue and makes handwashing fun, exciting and a part of everyday play. We are confident that these games will reignite the relevance of handwashing among kids with help of one of the most powerful tools of learning – PLAY."
The 'H for Handwashing Games' collection features four beloved board games - 'Germs & Ladders', 'Handwashing Ludo', 'Soap-Tac-Toe' and 'Lose the Germs' - that have been ingeniously recreated for Indian kids. These games provide engaging and interactive solutions to educate children to practice proper hand hygiene consistently by highlighting various instances where children should wash hands with soap. They also use the reward mechanism, trophies and wrist bands, to further associate hand hygiene habits with health through positive stimulus. Finally, at the end of each game, kids will be encouraged to take a pledge to champion the habit of handwashing with soap, ensuring a profound and lasting impact on behavior after playtime.
The initiative has received significant endorsement from the state governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. The games will be made available for students from state-run schools across these states and is expected to encourage over 75,000 kids across the region to cultivate the habit of handwashing with soap and lead a healthier life.
"Play is a fantastic driver of learning, bringing about connections with a purposeful and joyful flow! These games are a testament to the power of play, and its ability to bring about change," said Disha Katharani, co-founder, Imagimake.
The ‘H for Handwashing’ movement that began in 2020, has impacted over 12 million children from more than 30,000 schools across 25 countries, promoting handwashing with soap as a fundamental practice for better health. The company has been able to reach vulnerable populations, underserved communities and areas facing challenges in accessing proper hygiene facilities. To date, the brand has reached over one billion people through its handwashing programmes.