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Harpic and News18’s ‘Mission Swachhta Aur Paani’ Marks 1400 Days of Promoting Nationwide Hygiene Awareness

Campaign Ambassador Akshay Kumar hails the initiative as ‘Jan Andolan’ for sanitation security

New Delhi, May 03, 2024: In a shift that once seemed unthinkable, discussing toilets has become a regular part of conversations nationwide. Mission Swachhta Aur Paani campaign, a collaborative effort by Harpic and News 18, has been at the forefront of this change, marking over 1400 days of continuous engagement. A first-of-its-kind awareness campaign, the initiative normalized discussions on good toilet behavior across the country, touching millions of citizens, and bringing together leaders from all walks of life. Integrating culture, comedy, muppets, technology, music, and education, Harpic Mission Swachhta Aur Paani recently celebrated the completion of its third edition, setting the stage for scaling it up in the future. The milestone coincided with the 10-year anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission.

The celebration saw participation from Mission Swachhta Aur Paani campaign ambassador, Akshay Kumar; Hon’ble Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat & Mansukh Mandaviya; Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, and other prominent figures advocating for a safe and healthy Bharat.

Aligned with the Swachh Bharat Mission and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Harpic & News18’s Mission Swachhta Aur Paani has united various stakeholders – policymakers, cultural icons, celebrities, thought leaders, development sector professionals, water and public health experts, and academia. The campaign reinforced the importance of sanitation for clean and accessible toilets along with inculcating toilet appropriate behavior, particularly in young children. A remarkable feature of this campaign has been leveraging popular culture to simplify the message for mass consumption. A stand-up by Gaurav Kapoor, a song about health and sanitation by Grammy winner Ricky Kej, a message by Akshay Kumar and a short film like ‘Kar Lo Karmon Ka Uddhar’ appeal to common people, make them think, and inspire behavior and attitudinal shift.

Highlighting the significance of a Swachh Samaj for elevating India’s standing, Akshay Kumar said, “A clean society is the foundation of a healthier and better nation. Mission Swachhta Aur Paani has evolved into a ‘Jan Andolan’ (people’s movement) for sanitation security and focused on building awareness for right to dignity. I urge each one of you to continue supporting us and join us to drive advocacy for clean toilets to build a cleaner India.”

Hon’ble Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, emphasized the lasting impact of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, asserting, “India has witnessed a revolutionary transformation in sanitation and hygiene. Over one lakh villages have been declared completely clean based on various parameters. Our persistent efforts under the Swachhta Abhiyan are poised to significantly elevate both the National Health Index and GPI.”

Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, highlighted the critical role of good sanitation in maintaining good health, crediting the Swachh Bharat Mission for spreading the message of health and hygiene nationwide. He commended the Prime Minister for ensuring dignity for women, sanitation workers, marginalized communities, and others through this campaign.

During the celebration, Ravi Bhatnagar, Director of External Affairs & Partnerships – SOA, Reckitt, said, “Since its inception, Harpic Mission Swachhta Aur Paani has been working towards integrating a culture of cleanliness in society, particularly among youth, ensuring clean toilets become second nature. Events like G20, which championed ‘India for the World,’ and the profound philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam have deeply inspired and reinforced our commitment. At Reckitt, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of universal sanitation as we continue spreading the message of toilet hygiene and sanitation, helping build healthy habits among the masses. While our progress has been commendable, we acknowledge there is more to be done and this marks just the beginning of our journey towards a Swachch Bharat.”

Avinash Kaul, CEO of Network18 (Broadcast) & MD of A + E Networks, expressed pride in spearheading a high-impact campaign on toilet-appropriate behavior, reaching millions across India over the past three years.

“As India strives towards the vision of ‘Viksit Bharat-2047’, establishing itself as a developed global power, our commitment as a responsible media organization to support and contribute to this goal is unwavering. Through initiatives like Mission Swachhta Aur Paani, we are dedicated to promoting mass social awareness programs with a transformative agenda. Network18 will continue to encourage efforts for a Swachh and Swasth Bharat,” he said.

Launched in 2019, Mission Swachhta Aur Paani campaign worked around the core theme of ‘Healthy Hum, Jab Saaf Rakhen Toilet Hardam,’ which is designed to inspire behavioral change and create a lasting commitment to cleanliness among people. The campaign has made a significant impact nationwide, leveraging the extensive reach of Network 18, spanning 14 channels in 15 languages across 26 states, reaching over 69 crore individuals monthly, in addition to its digital channels reaching millions more.

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