First things first! Please click on the video below and spend a few seconds listening to what Kajol has to say. Listen to it as a parent, a concerned citizen or simply as an observer.
You saw film actor and mother, Kajol, asking you to join her and support Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign. And to be promoted is the simple habit of hand-washing, aimed at eradicating diarrhoea. While I cannot see your reactions, or know the take-homes that you grabbed from the video above and Gondappa's story contained within, I can tell you what I know.
Why a whole campaign revolving around hand-washing? The world over, 15 children die from diarrhoea or pneumonia every 15 seconds. Hand-washing, if done at key occasions during the day, is known to reduce the occurance of diarrhoea by 45% and pneumonia by 23%. That would mean saving the lives of over 600,000 children under five every year, which is actually the number of children who die due to diarrhoea or pneumonia in India each passing year. Significant numbers, isn’t it?
Having changed the hand-washing behaviour of over 130 million people, the world’s leading health soap, Lifebuoy, is now aiming even higher. Lifebuoy’s Hand-washing Programmes teach school children, new mothers and the community the practice of hand-washing with soap at key occasions, and in turn helping more children reach their fifth birthday. This intervention aims to contribute to the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) – that of reducing the mortality of children under five by two-thirds by 2015.
In order to work towards this goal, Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a child reach 5’ has adopted a village-to-village target approach, with the first one being Thesgora, Madhya Pradesh, with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea.
Kajol has become a part of this campaign to urge people for donations towards Hand-washing Programmes. In fact, this donation campaign was initiated with the release of the above film, where Kajol speaks about LifeBuoy’s award-winning ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ video.
Most of the times, it does not take much to do our bit. Let charity begin at home first. Let us ensure that our children and family members maintain basic hygiene and make hand-washing a necessary habit, not just to prevent these two dreadful diseases, but so many others too.
We can also be a part of this campaign. We can donate towards this cause at www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5. The proceeds from the donations will go to Population Services International (PSI), a leading health organization. For every donation made, Lifebuoy will match the donation amount for its hand-washing programmes. Lifebuoy will also donate Rupee 1 to the programme every time the ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ video is shared online.
A simple click of a button and we can ‘share’ the message of the video around - a message that may see so many children live to celebrate their 5th Birthdays.
Let’s do what we can, together.
Some related links:
[This post has been sponsored by Lifebuoy, but all thoughts are my own]