As per World Health Organization (WHO), around 600 million people, which is nearly half the population of India, defecate in the open. India accounts for 90 per cent of the people in South Asia and 59 per cent of the 1.1 billion people in the world who practice open defecation. Open defecation poses a serious threat to the health of children in India. The practice is the main reason India reports the highest number of diarrheal deaths among children under-five in the world. In order to deal with the deadly diarrhea and improve health condition of community, RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) has been consistently working toward developing innovative solutions in hygiene and sanitation domain. It is one of the world’s leading producers of health, hygiene and home products. It has pioneered several innovations across the world through over 100 + products and solutions. Going beyond its brand and working towards improving the hygiene quotient across India, RB has now launched a 5 year program “Banega Swachh India” (BSI) in line with Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" (SBA).
Through Banega Swachh India, RB aims to reach out and improve hygiene and sanitation status of 100 million people by 2020. This program will be implemented over duration of 5 years in a phased wise manner. One such initiative under the program is to drive behaviour change towards hygiene and sanitation practices across 200 villages in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This is a collaborative effort launched by Jagran Pehel and RB for “Creating Sanitation Change Leaders through sustained efforts” from the grassroots governance structures, community based organizations and frontline health workers and build their capacities for sustainable behavior change in the communities of these villages.
The project aims at driving behavior change of the community through key stakeholder, such as Panchayati Raj Institute (PRI) members, Frontline workers (ASHA/AWW/ANM), Faith based Leaders and Village Health & Nutrition/Sanitation Committees. These stakeholders will act as anchors and through innovative Information, Education and Communication (IEC) tool kits will spread the message to the larger audience.
The expected outcomes of this initiative are:
Roll out various behaviour change communication campaigns in 200 villages (100 each) of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
Create change leaders to promote hygiene and sanitation practices and influence the community members to adopt the same
Create awareness and disseminate information on various hygiene and sanitation practices
Improve overall health and wellbeing of the community by creating a demand for better hygiene and sanitation facilities and environment in villages of India
Key achievement of RB project:
69 plus villages either achieved ODF status or soon to be ODF, Benefits include improved perception of the importance of sanitation, construction of toilets, and increase in awareness with respect to sanitation related diseases.
5 lac total beneficiaries in 200 villages
85000 household impacted
30% reduction in open defecation
12 % increase in soap usage and hand washing
12% increase in toilet coverage
People who were earlier unaware of the health hazards of impure sanitation are now aware. There has been a 38% increase in the awareness related to diseases such as cholera, malaria, typhoid and hepatitis.
89% of the change leaders suggested that the community mobilizer has been a keystone element in driving behaviour change and improving sanitation in their villages. 73% of the PRIs felt that the most effective method of driving behaviour change was through chaupals organized by the mobilizer.