Grampari, a programme of Initiatives of Change India, has been implementing a hand washing education programme for children living in rural communities for the past nine years. This programme has taught over 12,000 children, ages 7 – 13, the importance of good hygiene, which is often neglected as part of their education. The response to the programme in the rural area schools has been heartening. After four years of this programme, surveys indicated that the children continued the practice and findings pointed towards overall health improvement as a result. The teachers tell us that this has also meant reduced absenteeism which will lead to better educational outcomes.
Now, with the present need for hand washing with soap, triggered by COVID-19 the world over, Grampari is encouraging the other villagers in these communities to implement these practical and personal changes. In the video below, one can see how simple it is to install an effective, yet low-cost hand washing station which uses only 40 ml of water per wash. Countries facing water shortages can implement this system without the having to risk wasting an already precious commodity. Grampari is making great efforts to improve the hygiene and habits of people in rural communities, which with the spread of COVID-19, now has a direct and sudden impact on their lives.
Coupled with handwashing, Grampari offers a ‘Heart Wash’ programme, which pairs learning good hygiene with good behaviours. This programme in values and mindful behavoiur has resulted in students saying ‘sorry’ for their misbehaving, resolving conflicts and forgiving friends with whom they had stopped talking. Some even returned stolen money.
The combined programmes have influenced the teachers as well. Many who have participated with their students have taken steps to change their behaviour and habits, becoming aware of the importance of modelling what they wish their students to learn. This has benefited the teachers, personally and professionally, as they better grasp the role that they play in their students' lives.
For more information on Grampari watch https://youtu.be/z56n-v0Gnu0