Can a piece of chalk teach young children a thing or two about cleanliness and personal hygiene? As it turns out, yes! This is true especially in rural regions where soap is a luxury, and where children typically spend a considerable portion of the day away from their parents or guardians. 

Here’s how Savlon, in partnership with Kolkata-based ITC and its agency Ogilvy & Mather, opted to focus on this issue and created a unique campaign to promote rural hygiene using chalk sticks.

The Campaign’s Backstory

The Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks Campaign, which is part of Savlon’s Swasth India Mission, aims to instill in young children in rural India the habit of washing their hands with soap before meals. 

The relevance of the initiative stems from where India is in terms of child hygiene. According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, India has the second-highest death rate of children under five in Southeast Asia due to poor hygiene, sanitation, and environmental factors.

According to the research, India ranked significantly worse than China and is among the top 35 nations in the world with the greatest death rate among under-five children owing to an unhealthy environment.

“Under this initiative, we used Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks as an educational tool to explain the importance of handwashing. Children tend to have short attention spans but they do remember interesting activities. Anything that they can touch, feel and experience tends to be easily internalized by them. Therefore, instead of giving theoretical explanations, we decided to talk about the hygiene issue through chalks,” said Sameer Sathpathy, chief executive, personal care, ITC Ltd. 

This inexpensive yet innovative solution reached out to over 70 cities and has received international recognition for being the most awarded Indian Campaign by the Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity.

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Savlon’s campaign emphasizes children’s hand hygiene. For one reason, clean hands are an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, and for another, it assisted the firm in incorporating its brand goal into the wider Clean India mission.

How Has Chalk Replaced Soap? 

In rural classrooms, the company distributed special chalk sticks infused with soap. Because they spend most of their time with chalk and slates, their hands are covered with chalk powder/dust by the time they take their lunch break, which lathers up and takes the form of soap when it comes into contact with water.

Children readily accepted this method, and the desired goal of keeping their hands clean was neatly integrated into their daily routines. It was easy for ITC and Ogilvy to promote this in schools as it was a low-cost option.

Many questioned the campaign, calling it a great recipe for winning awards and advertising its brand, but research reveals that the program’s reach into rural regions and promotion of cleanliness among them from the past 2 years has undoubtedly resulted in its success.

What are your thoughts on this creative and cost-effective idea? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Business Standard; Livemint

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This post is tagged under: savlon; savlon India; rural areas; rural India; Rural Children; Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks Campaign; World Health Organization (WHO); Savlon’s Swasth India Mission; ITC; Ogilvy; Ogilvy & Mather; Swasth India; Swachha Bharat Mission; Swachh Bharat Abhiyan; Indian Government; Instagram trending; Savlon; chain of protection by savlon; campaign by savlon; Savlon safe hands; chalk as soap; chalk sticks as handwash; use of chalks; cost-minimization; cost-effective; national award

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