Harpic India's sanitation kit debuts at WEF 2024 in Davos

The first-of-its-kind innovative Swoosh Germs Away! kit by Harpic India, designed in collaboration with News18 Network and Sesame Workshop India Trust has made its debut at the World Economic Forum 2024 in Davos. The kit, unveiled in September 2023 in India by the Honorable President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu, is part of Mission Swachhta aur Paani, a pan-India campaign that champions inclusive sanitation practices and advocates for appropriate toilet behavior throughout the nation.

Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, at Davos lauded the unique kit for its innovation and transformative power. He said, “I am very happy to witness projects centered around children, focusing on their well-being, education about the importance of sanitation, and the rational use of water. The display of such initiatives at Davos is truly commendable. Congratulations on showcasing these impactful projects.”

Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships, South Asia, Reckitt, “At Reckitt, we are consistently striving to build an environment that enables better lives and nurtures the young generation towards a promising future. We are deeply honored to witness the ‘Swoosh Germs Away!’ kit being recognized globally at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This pivotal milestone in our ongoing mission to promote sanitation for better health puts focus back on the importance of education and the role children play as young ambassadors who understand the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. We are grateful for the support that we have received and will continue to stand at the forefront of fostering a healthier future.”

The kit based on the 'Sanitation Hygiene Education Framework' gained significant attraction at the World Economic Forum in Davos with Sonali Khan, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop India Trust highlighting its unique interactive features that enable sustained behavioral adoption and practice by children to the world leaders. Khan said, “We're excited about the global response to our innovative kit, confirming its potential as a transformative tool. In a world dealing with hygiene issues, our kit is a promising model for replication. Crafted to inspire children globally, it's a crucial step in emphasising the importance of sanitation for optimal health. At the World Economic Forum 2024, we highlighted concerns and called for collective global action on sanitation. Our kit aims to provide concrete learning experiences, blending multi-sensorial assets and play-based methods to empower children with practical life skills.” 

The kit is a major stride in promoting hygiene education and cultivating positive toilet habits among students. Aligned with the National Education Policy and National Curriculum Framework, it includes 3D pop-up books, jigsaw puzzles, and an activity booklet featuring Sesame's engaging characters—Elmo, Chamki, Neela Jaadugar, and KK Kitanu. With these fun characters, learning becomes faster and more enjoyable. To date, the program has actively involved more than 200,000 children and aspires to extend its impact to 1.7 million children in the state of Odisha.

Mission Swachhta aur Paani, a collaborative initiative by Harpic and News18, is a nationwide campaign dedicated to fostering sustainable sanitation practices and ensuring access to clean water. Now into its third season, the campaign's core objective is to galvanize the nation towards the universal provision of clean and safe toilets, transforming it into a widespread movement. Aligned with the Swachh Bharat Mission and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, this initiative is committed to generating awareness and catalyzing actionable measures that leave no individual behind in the pursuit of these goals.

Avinash Kaul, CEO Network18 (Broadcast) and Managing Director of A + E Networks, TV18, expressed, "In the esteemed global aggregation at Davos, we are proud that our initiative positioned India as a trailblazer, spearheading micro-initiatives worldwide to address the critical challenges of hygiene and sanitation. The introduction of our ‘Sanitation Hygiene Education Framework’ on this prestigious platform serves as a call to action, urging and inspiring leaders to launch initiatives that educate children about the profound connection between sanitation and overall well-being. Through this framework, our goal is to spark a global movement, nurturing a generation of informed and empowered individuals who grasp the pivotal role of sanitation in shaping a healthier future."

Kaul further stated, “Our endeavor, 'Mission Swachhta aur Paani', in collaboration with Reckitt, underscores our dedication to fostering a value-driven partnership. I am thankful to Reckitt India for owning this cause and look forward to further building this collaboration that embodies the spirit of driving initiatives that prioritize cleanliness and water, contributing to the collective endeavor for a healthier and more sustainable world.”

What makes this curriculum unique is its focus on inculcating toilet etiquette in kids at an early age. Through interaction with the innovative Germ Locator kit, children are exposed to the seeds of knowledge and responsibility.

With about 2.2 million lives lost annually in India due to diarrhoea, a significant 1.87 million of whom are children under the age of five, the imperative to tackle this pressing public health crisis is undeniable. The kit curriculum offers a ray of hope, aimed at instilling essential sanitation and hygiene practices among children. This initiative holds the potential to make a decisive contribution towards mitigating such devastating occurrences.


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