Hygiene Drive: J'khand Cricketers Join Hands With UNICEF

The Jharkhand cricket team today joined hands with UNICEF and the state government in its campaign on hygiene and hand washing with soap.

The team pledged to "bat for hygiene and bowl out preventable diseases," on the concluding event of the two-month long hygiene campaign held here today, according to UNICEF press release.

All members of Jharkhand team including captain Shahbaz Nadeem attended the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion Sudhir Prasad, additional chief secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation said, "Prizes for school hygienic has been constituted in some states. Similar awards can be constituted for schools in Jharkhand, to promote hygienic practice among the children.

"There are several good hygienic practices in our schools. For example, children in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalya (KGBV) in Ranchi has developed cost effective liquid soap to wash hands."

Urging the children to persuade their parents to construct toilets in their houses, he said the state government provides incentive of Rs 4,600 for BPL families for constructing toilets.

Above poverty line (APL) families of SC/ST, people with less than 5 acres of land and women headed households were also eligible for the incentive, he said and added about 90 per cent of the population would be eligible for the subsidy for constructing toilet under the newly launched Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.

Job Zachariah, Chief, UNICEF Jharkhand, said that health and fitness are assets of a sportsperson and hygiene is essential to maintain health.

"Cricketers are popular in India and people listen to them. Therefore, people in Jharkhand will follow the advice of Jharkhand cricket team members on washing hands with soap at critical times."

He added, "according to a survey held by Public Health Association in 2008, only 53 per cent of the people wash their hands with soap after defecation and only 38 per cent wash hands with soap before taking food. Hand washing with soap at critical time need to become a habit to prevent diseases, to reduce deaths and to increase productivity."

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