It is a startling fact, that more than two million children lose their lives to diarrhoea every year. It is even more alarming, that a major contributor to this number is India. Washing hands with soap at key occasions during the day has been proven to be the most cost-effective and scalable solution to prevent the spread of deadly infections likes pneumonia and diarrhoea (Cairncross, S. Valdmanis V. 2006.). This simple act has the potential to save millions of lives.
Lifebuoy has implemented several innovative programs over the years to create habit change for hand washing amongst children as well as to raise awareness about the five critical hand washing occasions in a day. Of these five, one of the most important is washing hands with soap before eating.
In April 2014, Lifebuoy chose the occasion of the mid-day meal to convey this message. India’s mid-day meal scheme feeds over 120 million children a day, making it the perfect opportunity to address the maximum number of children across schools, at the actual moment of truth.
Across many rural schools, Geometry Global found that children were not washing hands before having lunch, despite the availability of soap. It turns out that old & heavy hand-operated pumps are the only way to access water in these schools. Young children find it difficult & tiresome to operate these pumps and hence would simply not bother coming near them. They focused their intervention on this key barrier.
Vipul Salvi, National Creative Director / Geometry Global India said, “ We need to keep pushing the limits of creativity to help solve basic problems like poor hygiene. The great thing about the Jump Pump is that it worked like a charm with kids while being cost-effective and easy to implement.”
Rahul Saigal, President / Geometry Global India said, “Sometimes the best way to teach kids an important lesson is to distract them into learning. You can't engage children by mere preaching; you need to talk to them in a language they understand: the language of play!”
Geometry Global’s idea was simple - turn the boring & cumbersome hand pump into a fun game, while making it easier to operate.
They installed a specially crafted rocking horse, made from a combination of wood and metal with a simple screw-on mechanism, on to the handles of these hand pumps in schools – transforming them into Jump-Pumps.
At lunchtime, when children headed out of class for their meal, they were taken by surprise by this colourful addition to their school premises. Promoters explained the concept and the proper technique of washing hands with soap along with putting up posters at prominent spots in the school to explain the “Jump Pump” game. Apart from this, Lifebuoy soap was also provided to ensure soap availability throughout the activation period.
1500 rural schools across UP & Maharashtra are being impacted with this activity between April-May 2014.
George Koshy, General Manager (Skin Cleansing), HUL said, “ Lifebuoy has a proud history of being a brand that stands for saving lives. It is indeed our mission to ensure that hand washing with soap becomes a habit for children, as a step to reducing diarrheal mortality. The ‘Jump Pump’ activation is an innovative approach, appealing to children in a manner that is fun and enjoyable.”
You can watch the video here: