Records are for breaking. India recorded a record of different sort. 15000 children today washed their hands in perfect harmony to stake claim to the Guinness record for the most people washing their hands. This attempt challenges the current record held by a school in Bangladesh, with 1213 participants washing hands at one location.
India breaks this Bangladesh record in an event held in an Indian city Chennai today.
The Guinness World Record attempt on Global Handwashing Day 2009 is considered to be the first small step to a long term working relationship with Lifebuoy and its partners. The event was organised by the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing which included the World Health Organisation and Unilever Lifebuoy and local government in Tamil Nadu.
Handwash is a simple and cost effective way of saving millions of lives and we are happy that Lifebuoy has come forward to conduct this event and we see this as an excellent example of Public Private Partnership”, informed Mr. Sudhanshu Vats, Vice President of Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
The 15th October 2009 saw over 88 countries brought together celebrities, Government representatives and UN organisations to celebrate the second Global Handwashing Day in India.
Every day India loses around 1,000 children to diarrhoea due to poor hygiene and water borne infections. This means 41 children die every 60 minutes due to this highly preventable disease. Globally, every year, more than 3.5 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhoea and pneumonia. According to WHO, diarrhoea alone kills almost 2 million children every year, making it the second leading killer of children world wide. And one out of every five of these children who die of diarrhoea is an Indian! A simple personal hygiene habit – washing hands with soap – could almost halve this figure. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, hand washing with soap is seldom practiced and not always easy to promote.
Hand washing plays an important part in the efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals relating to health improvements, education and the reduction of poverty and child mortality, as well as access to and effective use of water supply and sanitation services. These were agreed to by UN member countries at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002. The practice of hand washing with soap tops the international hygiene agenda, and Global Handwashing Day spotlights this important issue.