Actress Kajol, who has been a part of health soap Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ handwashing programme since the last three years, on Thursday launched a new short film, directed by “Ship Of Theseus” fame Anand Gandhi, for the cause.
Lifebuoy announced the latest edition of its handwashing programme with a special focus on the importance of hygiene in the neonatal period – the first 28 days of a child’s life.
Talking about it, Kajol told IANS: “The initiative is started by Lifebuoy to help people understand about change and how important it is to wash your hands with soap and water after you go to the loo and before eating food.
“It talks about the difference it makes to your life, especially for kids in their first month or first 28 days of their life where 50 percent of the children lose their life in our country because of the fact that they have not had proper hygienic care.”
She said the numbers are “scary, horrible and frightening”, and so, “if one simple but effective thing can change that statistics around, then I think it is important to spread the message”.
The film by Anand Gandhi showcases the emotional journey of a pregnant mother and her aspirations for her child. It highlights the importance of doing something very simple, yet important during pregnancy and early in the child’s life: washing hands with soap.
Apart from Kajol, the event was attended by Samir Singh, executive director, Hindustan Unilever, and as many as 100 pregnant women.
A handwashing initiative impacting millions of rural people in Bihar, in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), was also announced.
“We are excited to release this film and take the hygiene message to where it matters the most: to new mothers in the first 28 days after delivery. The ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign started in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh that has one of the highest rates of diarrhoea, and showcased remarkable results.
“We now impact child health at a very large scale in partnership with the CIFF,” Singh said in a statement.
Govt, NGO’s help needed to promote hygiene in society: Kajol
Actress Kajol, who has been advocating the importance of a hygienic environment, thinks NGO and government’s support is needed for spreading the message of maintaining sanitation standards in society.
“Everyone should follow basic hygiene as it reduces child mortality and also creates a clean environment. We do need help of Government and NGOs. It’s a team work. We are grateful to the government for coming up with ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ campaign,” Kajol told PTI here today.
The 41-year-old Bollywood actress, who is the handwashing ambassador and advocate of HUL health soap Lifebuoy’s “Help a Child Reach 5” campaign, unveiled a film revolving around a pregnant mother that also highlights the importance of washing hands with soap. The movie has been shot by Director Anand Gandhi.
“The film showcases the emotional journey of a pregnant mother and her aspirations for her child. It highlights the importance of washing hands with soap. I was
touched seeing the film and I would show it to my kids also,” said the mother of two.
The “My Name Is Khan” actress feels that star power helps in providing momentum to campaigns focusing on social causes. Kajol, since 2013, has been associated with the HUL campaign on handwashing with soap centred around children. “I am happy that we are reaching millions of people with lifesaving message on hygiene. I am proud to be a part of this programme over the past three years,” she added.