Tag Archives: sanitation ambassadors

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar UNICEF ambassador for hygiene & sanitation in South Asia

Recently-retired Indian cricket legend SachinTendulkar has become UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia to promote hygiene and sanitation in the region over the next two years.

“I was disheartened to know was that 1600 children die everyday because of diarrhoeal infected diseases”, Tendulkar said at a press conference on 28 November in Mumbai. “I just want to help UNICEF to make more people aware of this initiative that I am part of. It is as simple as washing your hands with soap”.

A video compilation highlights Tendulkar’s involvement in UNICEF campaigns over the past ten years on issues including polio, HIV/AIDS and handwashing.

Source: UNICEF, 28 Nov 2013 ; Times of India, 28 Nov 2013

Bollywood actress becomes India’s sanitation brand ambassador

Vidya Balan, who received the Best Actress National Film Award for her role in 2011 Bollywood hit ‘The Dirty Picture’, will now play a role to alter the real dirty picture in India. Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has named the Bollywood actress as the brand ambassador in his campaign for improving sanitation [1].

According to India’s 2011 census, nearly half of population have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone [2]. There are 2.1 million toilets in India which rely on manual scavengers to empty them [1].

The Minister hopes that Balan can help turn his campaign to end open defecation into a national obsession:

“it is going to be a very serious commitment on her part – she’s had a dirty picture in reel life, but this will be a clean picture in real life”. [1]

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India: bride awarded US$ 10,000 for demanding toilet after marriage

Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh presents the Sulabh Sanitation Award to Anita Bai Narre. Photo: V. Sudershan / The Hindu

A young woman who sparked a “sanitation revolution” in her village by forcing her husband to build a toilet in their home has been presented with a cheque for 500,000 Rupees (US$ 10,000).

Anita Narre of Chichouli village of Betul district in Madhya Pradesh received the award from Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, on behalf of Sulabh International.

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Viet Nam: comedian teaches children about better hygiene

In one of his first appearances in his new role as Viet Nam’s Goodwill Ambassador for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), the 35-year-old actor and comedian Xuan Bac features in a series of 30-second television spots showing children how to boil clean drinking water, help senior citizens clean the village to prevent water-borne diseases, and clean school toilets. Broadcast on major national station VTV, the spots target children between 7 and 15 years of age across the country, particularly in rural areas where use of unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygienic habits are still widespread.

Actor Xuan Bac teaches hand-washing

Actor Xuan Bac teaches hand-washing with soap in one of the TV spots. Photo: © Minh Studio

Xuan Bac was appointed as a WASH Ambassador by the Government under a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), UNICEF Viet Nam and Singaporean NGO Lien Aid. They are joined by four more organizations – Path, Plan International, World Vision, and Helevtas – in a collaborative WASH communication campaign for 2011.

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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.