Tag Archives: Aamir Khan

India: Bollywood actor launches school sanitation drive

Indian actor Aamir Khan helped launch a campaign to promote cleanliness in schools across the country at a function in New Delhi on 27 April 2010. Mr. Khan is the Brand Ambassador of the National School Sanitation Initiative, a joint programme of the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) and the GTZ (Germany).

(L to R) Kapil Sibal, the Minister for Human Resource Development, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, Jaipal Reddy, Minister for Urban Development. Photo: Arne Panesar

Union human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal wants actor Aamir Khan to convey this message to school children: Wash your hands before eating. Drink clean water and inculcate clean habits.

Upset that only 9% school students wash their hands before eating and that many do not maintain hygiene, Sibal plans to educate students about sanitation at schools, through innovative ways. Knowing that his word will not have the desired impact, Sibal has roped in the actor.

Khan will be the government’s brand ambassador to promote healthy and clean habits among children. The minister feels students will listen to their favourite actor more carefully, and he was not wrong in his assessment about Khan’s popularity.

INX News video of the launch

At the launch function of the National School Sanitation Initiative, Khan was mobbed by about 1,000 fans seeking autographs. The students broke past the security ring, and for a change neither the actor nor the minister cribbed about it.

Zee News report of the launch (in Hindi)

Overwhelmed, Khan promised Sibal he will prepare campaign material to promote sanitation. Khan said he would record awareness packages to be distributed in schools in CD format or be made available on the internet.

A school sanitation manual which will become part of the CBSE curriculum was also released at the launch.

As part of the initiative, health and wellness clubs are being set up, initially in the more than 100 schools affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Visit the Urban School Sanitation Initiative web site

Source: DNA, 28 Apr 2010 ; HRDP.net, 27 Apr 2010 ; The Hindu, 28 Apr 2010

Mr. Khan’s role as Sanitation Ambassador has been satirized by NDTV, which features him on a clean up mission of India politics.

India: Bollywood actor to teach hygiene to school kids

Aamir Khan

After showcasing India through the Incredible India campaign, actor Aamir Khan will be creating awareness about urban sanitation and hygiene issues among schoolchildren.

The government has approached Aamir to be the brand ambassador for the Urban School Sanitation project, a joint initiative of the Human Resource Development Ministry and the Urban Development Ministry, and help save children.

“Yes, we have been approached and have said yes to the initiative,” a spokesperson at Aamir’s office said.

According to Unicef, diarrhoea, which is directly linked to poor sanitation and hygiene, kills more than 1,000 children in India every day.

The project aims to generate awareness among schoolchildren about two key issues — the need for hygienic sanitation, its impact on health and environment and the importance of waste segregation.

The campaign will initially target schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education. Municipal school students will be next.

As part of the programme, the children will be told about hygienic sanitation practices and the ills of defecating in the open. They will also be taught waste segregation. Every student will be given a project on sanitation.

“Children are the best ambassadors of change. Through these children, we hope to take the message across to a wider audience,” the official said.

An urban development ministry official said Aamir was their natural choice for the campaign to be unveiled on April 27. “Children would associate with him very easily. He has done acclaimed films such as Taare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots. He would be able to get across the message effectively to children in a way that they can comprehend,” said a ministry official.

Source: Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times, 04 Apr 2010