More than 20 lakh school children attempt to establish a new world record in Madhya Pradesh on Global Handwashing Day

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh: As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in Madhya Pradesh, more than 20 lakh school children are expected to simultaneously wash their hands across the state on Global Handwashing Day today in an attempt to establish a new world record for maximum number of people washing their hands in multiple locations that will also be entered for consideration in the Guinness Book of World Records.1 This massive handwashing record attempt will involve school children from 20,000 schools across Madhya Pradesh washing their hands at the same time between 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan launched the handwashing activties as the Chief Guest at a special function in the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Habibia, Bhopal which was presided over by the Hon’ble Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development Mr Gopal Bharghava in the presence of Special Guests Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development Mrs Maya Singh, Hon’ble Minister for School Education Mr Deepak Joshi, Hon’ble Mayor of Bhopal Mrs Krishna Gaur, MP of Bhopal Mr Alok Sanjar, MLA of Narela Mr Vishwas Sarang, District Panchayat Chairperson Mrs Meena Goyal and other dignitaries.

Speaking on the occasion, the Hon’Ble Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues stressed upon the importance of cleanliness and good hygiene practices like handwashing in contributing to a healthy life.

This record attempt was initiated by the Madhya Pradesh State Government with technical support provided by MPTAST (Madhya Pradesh Technical Assistance Support Team) to promote the importance of hygiene among children and how handwashing helps to prevent the spread of germs.

RB India supported the initiative by providing 5.73 lakh pieces of Dettol soaps for all handwashing stations. The technical support provided by MPTAST for this event was made possible through the DFID supported Madhya Pradesh Health Sector Reform Programme in which WaterAid and FHI 360 are consortium partners.

“Hygiene education is a cornerstone of WaterAid’s work in India. Through the massive Global Handwashing Day record attempt in Madhya Pradesh, we are hoping to inculcate handwashing in children as a good habit to prevent communicable diseases so that they in turn can influence their family and friends. Hygiene education is also the critical lever to push behavior change on sanitation. We are also happy to be supporting the Madhya Pradesh State Government in this great awareness initiative,” said Neeraj Jain, Chief Executive, WaterAid India.

On this special occasion, Mr. Nitish Kapoor, Managing Director – RB India said, “As a global leader in consumer health and hygiene, our purpose is to improve the hygiene and sanitation in the daily lives of our consumers. We have been committed to the cause for a long time. We believe that habit formation takes place at an early age and children in particular are the most effective change agents in the society. By emphasizing on the importance of handwashing habits on this occasion, we are equipping children with tools and knowledge to stay healthy and safe from infections.”

To ensure that the record is considered by the Guinness World Records authorities, the entire handwashing record attempt in Madhya Pradesh is being organised by following the established guidelines of Guinness. More than 20,000 witnesses and an equal number of videographers are helping with this process. In addition, more than 40,000 teachers and volunteers are helping in organising the school children and in ensuring that the complicated attempt goes off smoothly and simultaneously in mutiple locations across the state.

Beyond the Global Handwashing Day activities, the Madhya Pradesh State Government with the support of MPTAST will continue its activities under SBM until 19 November to mobilise people to improve the state of sanitation and cleanliness in the state.

Toilet Facts

44 per cent of the total population in India still defecate in the open.

Open defecation causes chronic diarrhoea that leads to stunting.