New Delhi: Reckitt Benckiser, world’s leading consumer Health and Hygiene Company, today announced an expansion of its flagship Dettol Harpic Banega Swachh India Campaign by adding another layer of intervention to address the issue of water and air pollution. In keeping with the tradition of enhancing and expanding its initiatives around hygiene and sanitation, this year’s BSI initiatives will focus on Swachh Zameen, Swachh Hawa aur Swachh Pani. RB is adding a new layer to the BSI initiative, with drive against air pollution through a multi-faceted intervention. This will be a drive to ensure a cleaner environment by ensuring that the surroundings remain clean and in addition make efforts to create awareness around air pollution. Under this theme, RB calls out to the common man to keep “Mere10Guz” – 10 yards around him sanitary and unpolluted by taking small steps in that direction.
Commenting on the same, Nitish Kapoor, Managing Director, RB India said, “Banega Swachh India has been creating awareness and driving behavior change for the last 3 years. The program has been able to create a positive impact with the school curriculum reaching 4.5million children and the community and partnerships making 200 villages ODF. Now the time has come to empower the people with knowledge of the importance of their individual contribution with our Mere Dus Gaz campaign. This enlightens the people to contribute in the vision of making India Swachh. This year we aim to educate everyone that not only land but also the water and air are our responsibility. Air and water pollution are immediate concerns and needs to be nipped in the bud.”
Taking the initiative to the next level, RB will partner with the Global Interfaith WaSH Alliance (GIWA), founded by Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Sankap Taru to plant a total of 200,000 tress in Dehradun, Uttarakhand in order to arrest the progress of air pollution. This intervention would be undertaken in two phases. These native fodder and shade providing trees would be planted at, approximately, 20+ clusters in Tehri district along the basins of river Ganga and its tributaries.
Also the lack of proper sanitation has led to an annual GDP wipe-out of USD 106 billion for India in 2015 alone, and coupled with air pollution – one of the top ten killers in the world and the fifth leading cause of death in India – has severely impacted India’s socio-economic health. As part of the pledge to expand the reach of BSI and with a focus on air pollution, RB has partnered with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the oldest and the largest trade association of India, to reduce air pollution, particularly in northern India, caused due to the burning of agricultural stubble after the harvesting season. Through this tie-up, RB will be reaching-out to over 110 villages in Punjab with a beneficiary count of over 44000 farmers through a host of interventions ranging from the distribution of IEC material, comics on air pollution, street plays, popularizing legislation, to presenting whitepaper and making policy recommendations to the state government by March 2019.
To ensure it can create enough awareness around the agenda, RB recently at Swachta Divas on October 2, 2017 also voiced its intent at the 12 hour long, Cleanathon, hosted by Bollywood actor, Amitabh Bachchan. A host of prominent personalities including Alia Bhatt, Anupam Kher, John Abraham, Dia Mirza, Jaya Bachchan, Raveena Tandon, Priya Dutt, Shankar Mahadevan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra joined hands to support RB in its agenda of Swachh Zameen, Swachh Hawa aur Swachh Pani this year. In a unique way all distinguished Faith leaders, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Co- founder Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, President, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh; Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, President, All India Imam Organization; Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, Acharya Roopchandra Muni, Jain Monk and Sadhavi Bhagwati Saraswati, Secretary General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, President Divine Shakti Foundation and Mahmood A Madani, Sectary General, Jamia Ulama-i-hind, Former MP Rajya Sabha came together to pledge “Cleanliness is the New Religion – Pledge for Clean Air, Water and Land.” They said through their religious sermons they will go across country and spread messages for the message of community action.
Additionally, RB will continue the efforts around improving sanitation and hygiene by constructing over 25,000 toilets through people participation; mobilizing, training and deploying 13,000 change leaders in the communities. We will be reaching-out to over 26,232 villages and to 14,797,658 households in seven states, namely, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. To actualize this goal, RB will be working closely with over 20 plus INGOs, CSOs and Aid Agencies and Think Tanks to create 100,000 sanitation champions as Nigrani Samitis , skilling 15,000 people to build low cost and sustainable toilets in partnership with the World Toilet College, Rishikesh (Uttarakhand).
Recent achievements by RB under the BSI campaign:
Reached 4.6 million school kids through Dettol Hygiene Curriculum in partnership with 7 State Governments, over 5000 schools directly. School Hygiene Curriculum is made available in 5 Languages
For Social inclusion School Hygiene Curriculum is made in Braille and 5,000 schools will be covered through this.
Supporting state Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar & Maharashtra, by making 200 villages and 42 Urban Local Bodies to attain ODF ++ status in partnership with Jagran Pehel the initiative
Construct over 25,000 Individual Household Toilets
Trained over 5,000 people including NGOs, Women, and SHGs, through World Toilet College in partnership with GIWA and World Toilet Organization, Singapore.