The footprints of “Achhi Aadat (Good Habits Campaign) -a JICA India initiative; in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand
Deoghar (Jharkhand) [India], February 6: The provision of a clean and safe environment to its citizens should be the mandate of any Government. One of the key motives of Achhi Aadat Campaign (AAC), a JICA India initiative and IJ Kakehashi Services Pvt. Ltd. (IJK), is to attain the above objective and thus designed to contribute to provide a clean and hygienic environment to its targeted beneficiaries through dissemination of knowledge in a strategic manner.
As per SDG India Index 2.0, Jharkhand scores one of the lowest in SDG Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) Index score, with respect to other States/UTs. Further, the State Government acknowledges the fact that “In Jharkhand entire population does not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Rural sanitation coverage is very low. About 30% of habitations have partial facility with drinking water (source: Official website of the State Government (https://www.jharkhand.gov.in/drinking-water)
In view of the above facts, the Achhi Aadat Campaign 2022, has marked its presence in some pockets of Deoghar district, Jharkhand State through meaningful interventions of awareness and knowledge enhancement of the rural communities and school students. This initiative was supported by Nihon Suido Consultants Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese engineering consulting firm in the water sector.
The interventions were implemented with the support of a local NGO, Chetna Vikas which has an esteemed presence in Deoghar district of Jharkhand State for many years and has meaningfully contributed in the improvement of the sanitation conditions in the district. The NGO has conducted educational sessions with the school children on the importance of hygiene especially that of handwashing with soap and nail hygiene. It was exhibited through a puppet show, handwashing demonstration, etc. The NGO has also engaged with the school children through holding painting competition on the importance of hygiene and other sanitation practices.
In this matter, Mr. Sourabh Bhatacharjee, Head of Operations, Social Development Projects IJK quoted, while narrating about his observations during his field visit to Deoghar- “Exemplifying from a local context always helps in a better penetration of the key messages of any social intervention. In the course of disseminating the importance of handwashing with soap, the NGO officials had highlighted the stunted conditions of the children in the village due to lack of hygiene conditions of the pregnant mothers in the village. This example was an attempt to ensure the contemplation stage of the Behavior Change Communication process amongst the beneficiaries. Positioning of the AAC messages and their presentation amidst the mixed populace was really praiseworthy.”
On a concluding note, the blend of communication activities at the community level along with the school going children pertaining to the messaging of handwashing with soap and nail hygiene in Deoghar proved to be a welcome step towards achieving the hygienic and clean society.
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