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Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna

Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna

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Published by: karan_arora on Jul 28, 2009
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06/22/2013

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Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna
The Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna programme was initiated in 2002 as a rural health andhygiene initiative in India.In India, over 600,000 children under the age of five die annually from diarrhoea. Studieshave shown that almost half these deaths could have been prevented by simply washinghands with soap.In partnership with local government bodies, the Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna programmeis designed to spread awareness about the importance of washing hands with soap. It also promotes general hygiene in rural areas that are difficult to reach through usual marketingcampaigns such as television, press or in-store advertising and promotions.CommunicationSwasthya Chetna, which means 'Health Awakening', is a multi-phased activity that workstowards effecting hand washing behaviour change in rural communities. The mainmessage of the campaign is "Visibly clean is not really clean".The campaign has three communication tasks:
To establish the presence of germs, even on clean hands, through the use of a 'glow germdemo kit' that has been developed by Unilever for use in Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna. Thesimple and powerful tool makes unseen germs visible.
To establish the consequences of these hidden germs, which when ingested, can causestomach infections and diarrhoea, or be transferred to eyes causing painful eye infections,or infecting wounds.
To establish how current practice is not enough to fight these germs by using the glowgerm demo kit to demonstrate that washing with water is not enough, and that it isnecessary to wash hands with soap for germ protection.Tools used to communicate the central Swasthya Chetna message are adapted accordingto the specific audience.EngagementLifebuoy teams visit each village several times, engaging all segments of the communityand ensuring the formation of local 'self-help communities' that can sustain the message.School children, being initiators of change, make excellent ambassadors of communication, provided they find it fun and engaging. The element of LifebuoySwasthya Chetna that involves children focuses on fun, using stories, games, songs andquizzes. Efforts are made to ensure that the learning does not fade over time.Additionally, these visits also include a meeting with the Panchayat (village elders).
 
Covering 130 million people in 30,000 villages since 2002, the Lifebuoy SwasthyaChetna programme has made its mark as the single largest private hygiene education project in the world.The Swasthya Chetna programme will be re-launched in 2009, and will cover even morevillages in India as part of the Lifebuoy brand's crusade.Key project activities:Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna is a multiphase activity that works toward effecting handwashing behavior change among the rural communities it touches. The central message of the campaign is:
Visibly clean is not really clean.
The communication tasks were to:Establish the presence of germs even on clean-looking hands, using a simple butextremely powerful, low-cost demonstration tool called the “glow germ demo kit.”Developed by Unilever for use in Swasthya Chetna, it brings to the target audience theidea that hands are only truly clean if washed with soap.Establish the consequences of these hidden germs on hands.BackgroundThe Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna (“Health Awakening”) program began in 2002 as a ruralhealth and hygiene education initiative in India. The project was designed to spreadawareness about theimportance of washing hands with soap and to promote general hygiene in rural villages.The program has reached more than 100 million people, and its teams have reached atleast 44,000 villages in rural India. Swasthya Chetna is one of the world’s largest self-sustained and self-funded hygiene promotion projects.Communicating the message to children:School children are change initiators and, in this context, the program works with them totake the messages home and into their communities. Children are also excellentcommunicators if they findthe topic or activity fun and involving. The tools to communicate the central SwasthyaChetna message are adapted according to the specific audience, and schools have provenexcellent entry points into communities. The element of Swasthya Chetna that involveschildren focuses on how to position hygiene as fun and uses stories, games, songs andquizzes.Key factors to success of the program:Continuous monitoring and evaluation is at the core of the program – each year, program
 
activities are evaluated on both awareness of hygiene moments and effective behavior changes. Improvementscan be made to the subsequent year’s program to make it more effective in achieving itsgoals.Cost-effectiveness of the program – the cost per village is approximately £50 for the threeexposures, including implementation and development of the materials.Commitment of the operating company – Swasthya Chetna is now central to what the brand does in India, and the operating company (Hindustan Unilever Limited) hasinvested more than US$5 million.Unilever ValuesUnilever’s mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition,hygiene, and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look goodand get more out of life.As a multi-local multinational, Unilever aims to play its part in addressing globalenvironmental and social concerns through its own actions, and working in partnership with stakeholders at local, national and international levels.On April 7, 2006, on the occasion of World Health Day, the Department of Posts releaseda special Lifebuoy 'Swasthya Chetna Postal Cover'. Lifebuoy, a leading soap brand fromHindustan Lever Limited (HLL), the Indian subsidiary of Unilever, became India's first brand to be featured on a postal cover. The Special Postal Cover was released inrecognition of the work done by Lifebuoy and HLL to increase awareness of health andhygiene in rural India, through the Lifebuoy 'Swasthya Chetna' (LSC) initiative.LSC was a five-year campaign launched in 2002 in eight states across India. Theobjective of this program was to educate around 200 million people in rural and urbanareas about the importance of adopting good 'health and hygiene' practices. The programaimed to debunk the misconception that 'visibly clean is safe clean'.

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