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Dettol announces second edition of India’s biggest Hygiene Olympiad under its Dettol Banega Swasth India initiative

Dettol announces second edition of India’s biggest Hygiene Olympiad under its Dettol Banega Swasth India initiative
Announcement Post
  • Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 expands to all 28 states & 8 Union territories across India, reaching over 30 million children
  • Olympiad will also be available to kids in Sanskrit, the world’s oldest language – this will be for the first time in world that such a large-scale exam on hygiene is being conducted in Sanskrit 

National, August 29, 2023: Reckitt, world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, announced the second edition of Dettol Hygiene Olympiad, the biggest Hygiene Olympiad in India under its flagship campaign Dettol Banega Swasth India. Aimed at building awareness around the importance hygiene plays in the prevention of illnesses among children, this unique initiative offers an interactive platform for children to learn about hygiene and healthy habits.

Building on the success of its debut last year that reached 10 million children across India, Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 is taking its mission a step further as for the first time ever, the Olympiad will span all 28 states and 8 union territories across the country, reaching over 30 million children. The initiative will also engage with students in 2500 gurukuls and other religious education schools, incorporating Sanskrit translations to ensure accessibility to a diverse audience. This will ensure that children from every corner of India understand best practices of handwashing and embrace concepts of hygiene and health in their daily lives. A natural extension to the Dettol School Hygiene Curriculum, the initiative further cements Reckitt’s belief that addressing hygiene gaps will be imperative in India’s journey to better health.

Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 is supported by over 100 partners which include, Plan India, MAMTA HIMC, Gramalaya, Jagran Pehel, AJYS, FICCI ISC, ASSOCHAM Foundation, Apollo Total Health, SARDS, and CARPED, among others. The offline examination is scheduled from September 4 to September 15, providing children aged 6 to 16 years an impetus to explore the nexus between hygiene, health, and safeguarding their family. One winner will be announced from each state and union territory and select winners will be felicitated in person at the launch of Dettol Banega Swasth India Season 10. 

Dr Prathap C Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd (AHEL), said“Apollo Foundation has always strived to achieve health equity and provide access to quality healthcare for all citizens. Known for groundbreaking initiatives for the underserved, our partnership with Reckitt had brought forth India’s first Hygiene Play Park last year, creating an impact on preventive health in the rural community in Aragonda. Today we are proud to join hands with Reckitt as they launch the second edition of Dettol Hygiene Olympiad, which will cover all the 28 states and 8 union territories. We believe that empowering students with knowledge and awareness about the intrinsic connection between hygiene and health will build us a healthier and stronger nation.” 

Mr. Gaurav Jain, Executive Vice President, Reckitt – South Asia said, “At Reckitt, we believe knowledge is power and, in this context, knowledge about hygiene can go a long way in helping children understand the importance of health and well-being. We were elated to see the outcome of the first edition of Dettol Hygiene Olympiad which made a difference in lives of 10 million kids. This has inspired us to take our second edition a notch higher and we are confident that it will have an even greater impact this year by reaching over 30 million kids.” 

Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chair of India Sanitation Coalition and Padma Shri awardee said, “We, at the India Sanitation Coalition recognise that India has made great strides through the Swachh Bharat Mission in solid and liquid waste, covering over six hundred thousand villages of India. We need to simultaneously ensure good hygiene as experience shows that simple practice of hygiene among children is extremely effective against several diseases. Research has time and again shown the direct interconnection between the reduction of diseases and regular handwashing with soap, especially at critical times of pre-meals, post-defecation, and pre-feeding babies. In many situations, however, both access to hygiene facilities and support for essential behaviours are lacking in India. Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 under its flagship campaign Dettol Banega Swasth India, supports good basic hygiene practices among children and encourages them to attain positive hygienic habits that last a lifetime. It is a step towards a healthy India.”

Shri Sai Damodaran, Padma Shri Awardee, Founder and CEO, Gramalaya said, “The Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 is a wonderful initiative by Reckitt to promote awareness and education on hygiene and health. It seeks to empower every child in India to better understand good hygiene behaviours and practices. This Olympiad will motivate the students to learn about hygiene and observe in their day-to-day life.  Through this program, we aim to ensure more citizens in India to achieve better living standards. The awards and championship will make them feel proud about themselves and India. I thank Reckitt for such a great initiative as part of the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0.” 

Rathi Vinay Jha, Chairperson, Plan India Board, said, “Plan India deeply values its longstanding partnership with Reckitt for the Dettol Banega Swasth India initiative. In Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0, the project has taken substantial steps towards improving hygiene practices, impacting more than 30 million school children to contribute to a healthier future. Acknowledging children as the foundation of our nation, the Dettol School Hygiene Education program has successfully cultivated awareness and facilitated a shift in behaviour, encouraging the adoption of optimal hygiene practices among children and adolescents. It’s heartening to note that Reckitt’s purpose-driven endeavours are directed toward supporting a crucial social cause across multiple States in India, all aimed at fostering sustainable growth for the nation’s future.” 

Dr. Indira Chakravarty, Padma Shri Awardee, Indian public health specialist, scholar and environmentalist said, “Hygiene is an extremely important aspect of health and well-being, and the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad 2.0 is definitely a fantastic initiative that is educating children about the importance of hygiene. I feel most honored to be part of this initiative, which is making a huge difference in the lives of millions of children across the country, who are going to be the future citizens of our nation. I am hopeful that this edition will further the tremendous positive impact it has already had in its debut year.”

As the pandemic underscores the importance of hygiene, Dettol Banega Swasth India remains dedicated to educating children about six pivotal handwashing occasions through Dettol Hygiene curriculum programme which includes washing hands after defecation, and the use of toilets; before eating; before preparing and serving food; before feeding infants/children; after cleaning a child’s bottom, and after coughing/sneezing during illness. The Dettol Hygiene Olympiad’s engaging approach will undoubtedly encourage children nationwide to embrace healthy habits, fostering a healthier future.

Inspirational Stories of 2022 Winners: 

Anil: The Unstoppable Journey of a Swacchata Hero

Anil, a spirited student in the 5th grade at GPS Pteri, Udham Singh Nagar, comes from a family facing economic hardship. Their home lacks even the most basic amenities like electricity. His father, Bhagwan Das, works tirelessly as a laborer to support the family. Yet, despite these challenging circumstances, Anil stands out as a beacon of intelligence and enthusiasm, with lofty ambitions of becoming an engineer.

Anil seized the opportunity to participate in the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad in September 2022. Putting forth his best efforts, he impressed the judges and won second place. This win earned him an all-expenses-paid trip to Mumbai, where he boarded an airplane for the very first time, filling him with unbridled joy. The event’s ambassador, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, presented him with a prize of 25,000 INR. His victory was broadcast live, capturing the hearts of his family, teachers, and entire village.

Upon his triumphant return, Anil received a hero’s welcome. His school and village celebrated him with garlands and festive drum beats, recognizing him as their esteemed Village Hero. The local Deputy Education Officer, Dr. Gunjan Amrohvi, felicitated both Anil and his school principal during a school assembly. Shortly after, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate ordered the refurbishment of Anil’s home, ensuring proper electricity and sanitation facilities. This marked a life-changing milestone in Anil’s remarkable journey. 

Kajal: The Visionary Champion Defying Odds

Kajal, a 7th-grade student at Composite School Khushalganj in Lucknow, has her education intermittently interrupted due to her mother’s declining health and the domestic responsibilities that fall upon her. Despite these challenges, she has been steadfast in her resolve to become a school teacher.

Kajal’s exceptional dedication didn’t go unnoticed; her principal, Mrs. Anjaly Saxena, praised her abilities in both academics and extracurricular activities. When the opportunity arose to participate in the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad, Kajal excelled, becoming the top scorer in the Lucknow district. Her outstanding performance won her a first prize of 50,000 INR, presented by Amitabh Bachchan himself during a grand ceremony in Mumbai.

Her achievement has not only brought immense pride to her family but has also had a ripple effect throughout her community, reinforcing the invaluable role of education. Since her triumphant return, Kajal has received honors from local officials and has dedicated her victory to her school’s hygiene education program, attributing her success to the strong foundation it provided. 

Janhvi Patel: The Transformation of “Hygiene Girl”

Janhvi Patel, currently in the 4th grade at P S Manduwadih in Varanasi, hails from a modest background in a small village. Her parents never had the opportunity for a formal education, but Janhvi herself has shown extraordinary enthusiasm for learning. She is an active participant in various school events and has a sparkling record in academic competitions.

When the Dettol Hygiene Olympiad took place in September 2022, Janhvi fully dedicated herself and emerged as one of the winners. Her efforts were rewarded with a 50,000 INR prize, personally handed to her by Amitabh Bachchan, marking a significant turning point in her life.

This milestone led to further recognition: Janhvi was elected as a monitor for her school’s Bal Sansad (Children’s Parliament) and was later appointed as the Bal Sansad Ambassador by the Municipal Corporation. Even the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, took note of her accomplishments during a visit to her school. Known now as “Hygiene Girl,” Janhvi also had the chance to spread her message of cleanliness and wellness through an interview on Radio City 98.3, becoming an icon and a voice of inspiration for both the young and old in her community.

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