Hindustan Unilever Limited: Spreading the message of Swachh Aadat across India

Published - April 30, 2018 05:37 pm IST

For any nation-building project to triumph, it is essential that every stakeholder contributes to the initiative. The move towards cleanliness launched through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, is one such mission. Governments and government bodies, international development organizations, NGOs and corporates have the resources to play significant roles in such movements. Corporates have skill sets that are different from government and development sector organizations, and these have not been harnessed enough for contributing to national causes.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company believes in using its ability to understand every Indian – an ability that the company acquired by serving Indian consumers for 85 Years, as well as Promoting the national movement towards a cleaner India. HUL’s brands, by virtue of the product characteristics and market position, are natural thought leaders when it comes to health and hygiene, going beyond the market to create positive lasting change in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) habits. HUL understands that behaviour change is as important as creating infrastructure like toilets and hand wash stations in schools, hence it is undertaking multiple programmes for instilling positive hygiene and sanitation behaviours.

Domex Toilet Academy is an on-ground sanitation intervention that deployed an entrepreneurial development model on ground building over one lakh toilets. A behavior change programme is currently being implemented in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh to increase usage of toilets and encourage proper maintenance of toilets.

The Lifebuoy Handwashing Behaviour Change Programme is amongst the largest handwashing initiatives in the world. The initiatives help in promoting the benefits of handwashing with soap at key occasions and encouraging people to sustain the behaviours. The programme is run with the help of multiple NGOs including partners like the Word Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGs) on ground the Lifebuoy Handwash Programme has reached more than 63 million Indians.


Pureit has partnered with Water Health International to set up 4 pilot community water plants in Tumkur, Karnataka. These four plants provide safe drinking water to low income consumers in that area. By working with micro finance institutions across India, Pureit has made safe drinking water accessible to low-income consumers who otherwise would not have been able to afford water purifiers, thereby, protecting millions of lives.

Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat is HUL’s movement that aims to provide the missing link in the Swachh Bharal Abhiyan –behaviour Change. The focus is on holistic behavior charge targeting handwashing, purification of water and usage and maintenance of clean toilets. HUL has multiple initiatives to change behavior including Swachhata Doot, Swachh Basti programme, the Swachhata curriculum and media campaigns promoting hygiene practices.

Swachhata Doot is a mobile-led rural behaviour change communication model, wherein volunteers can become agents of behavior change in India’s villages. They share two-minute audio stories on clean habits through their mobile phones. They reach out to school children, parents and community members thereby positively impacting rural communities. The programme has successfully reached over 30 lakh people with the message of cleanliness since inception.

The Swachh Aadat curriculum is a 21- day behaviour change curriculum for primary school students. Reaching them young ensures that the knowledge about the importance of clean habits and the positive attitudes towards clean habits are picked up early. The curriculum is taught in classrooms with the help of teachers for approximately 20 minutes for 21 continuous working days. The curriculum combines classroom teaching with practical demonstrations and characters

like Chamatkari Sonu (a superhero) and Kitabyutor (Kitab + computer), activities, games etc., are used effectively. The curriculum has so far been taught in schools in parts of rural Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.


The Suvidha Centre is a first-of-its-kind urban water, hygiene and sanitation community centre that addresses the hygiene needs of people from low-income urban households who face severe challenges due to lack of infrastructure and facilities. It provides toilets that flush, handwashing facilities with soap, clean showers, safe drinking water and laundry facilities at significantly lower costs than market. The first Suvidha Centre in Azad Nagar, Ghatkopar, one of the largest slums in Mumbai is running for more than a year and has attained operational sustainability. The ‘Suvidha’ project would be expanded with more such centres being built at other slums of Mumbai.

For success to be achieved, it is essential that everyone with a similar mission, work together towards the common goal. HUL partners with NGOs, development organisations and the government to work together towards common goals. The Village Social Transformation Mission is an initiative by the Government of Maharashtra and top private sector companies to develop the 1000 most backward Gram Panchayats of the state based on their HDT (Human Development Index). HUL is the lead partner for all WASH behaviour change initiatives in the 1000 villages identified by VSTM for the Mission.

Hindustan Unilever Limited believes in creating change in people’s lives and in the pillars of Health and Hygiene. They have created lasting change in the lives of Indians contributing to the ideals of the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Goal 3 Good health and well-being and Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation) and India’s Swachh Bharat Mission.

As a citizen, you can volunteer to teach people around you about essential hygiene habits – the need for washing hands at critical occasions during the day, the necessity to consume only clean and purified water and the criticality of usage and maintenance of toilets. To understand and volunteer for HUL’s Swachhata Doot Programme, visit www.hul.co.in/sasb .



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