13 p.c. of Tiruchi students don’t wash hands with soap after using toilet: survey

A postcard campaign to create awareness on washing hands was organised in schools in the district by Gramalaya, an NGO, as part of Global Handwashing Day observation here on Tuesday.

The day is observed on 15 of October every year to improve awareness on the importance of washing hands with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases. Under the slogan ‘clean hands save lives’, the rallying points for the day are children and schools.

The postcard campaign was organised with the support of Water.org, an international organisation working to solve water and sanitation problems, and Arghyam, a public charitable foundation based in Bangalore that supports sustainable water management. The four-day campaign includes printing and distribution of postcards, conducting survey, and analysing results.

A total of 25,000 postcards were printed with information on the crucial hours when one should wash his/her hands with soap. For example, hands must be washed with soap after handling children’s faeces, before feeding children, before and after cooking food and handling garbage. The cards were distributed to students from 243 schools primary and middle schools in Uppiliapuram, Manachanallur blocks in the district, and selected schools in Perambalur, Namakkal, and Pudukottai districts. The cards were filled by students with the help of teachers and health educators from NGOs to test the awareness and practices through a survey.

Field-level implementing organisations such as LEAF Society, Namakkal, Annai, Pudukkottai, and Indo Trust, Perambalur, assisted in conducting the survey. The results of the survey reveal that 87 per cent of schoolchildren practice hand washing with soap after using toilet, 88 per cent before consuming food, and 85 per cent after playing .

Posters containing information about the correct method of washing hand and important hours when hand must be washed were displayed in all schools.

“The India office of Water.org supports the school health programme which is being implemented in 160 schools in Tiruchi district. Trained community health workers from Gramalaya impart hygiene education to school students,” said M.Elangovan, executive director, Gramalaya.

TIRUVARUR: The world hand washing day was observed at the GRM Girls HSS in the town on Tuesday. S.Natarajan, Collector, who was the chief guest, listed out the benefits of washing hands properly. Incidence of many disease including typhoid, jaundice, cholera, chickenpox, diarrhoea, could be brought down through personal hygiene, he said.