Global Handwashing Day 2021

Our Future Is At Hand and Let’s Move Forward Together

15th October marks a day that creates a stir across the world on the importance of hand hygiene through daily handwashing practice using water and soap. This is celebrated as GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY globally, saw the theme rightly coined as ‘Our Future Is At Hand- Let’s Move Forward Together’. Given the on-going pandemic, the importance of cleanliness and the know-how  of the spread of germs through hands, nose and mouth can’t be stressed enough. To counter this the most impactful practice is handwashing. As reported, handwashing with soap and water can keep most of the diseases at bay and prevents the spread of infections as well. As reported by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention handwashing: 

  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%  
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57%

The top 2 reasons for children’s mortality under the age of 5 are diarrhea and pneumonia. Clearly, the importance and significance of GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY can’t be less stated.


This year Maha PECOnet partnered with Maharashtra Urban WASH for a week long awareness campaign convened by UNICEF Maharashtra  from 11th October 2021 –18th October 2021.  With various government agencies and members of the Maha PECOnet coalition, saw more than 17.4 Million people being reached for the correct information, behaviour and protocols around handwashing. 

  • Some of the key activities that were part of the campaign were:
  • Postcards and Letters written by the youth to the elders in their families 
  • Awareness Activities by the partners across districts
  • Soap Distribution to encourage correct health and hygiene protocols
  • Elbow operated taps & Pedal operated hand washing station installation
  • Bulk mails & messages using messaging platforms to further the awareness
  • Handwashing demonstrations by all the partners and agencies
  • Essay Competition in schools
  • Poster Competition using art as a form to elicit correct thinking 
  • Webinars to push for conversations and learnings
Million people being reached


We had the honour of Mr. Ravindra Shinde, Project Director (SWSM) on 11th October 2021, conducting training for entire staff of Water Supply and Sanitation department. We had in attendance the Deputy CEOs, BDOs, DWSM staff, BRC, and CRC from all 34 districts of Maharashtra were present.

Mr. Shinde in his address note on Global Handwashing Day can be seen here

Mr. Gulabrao Patil, Minister, Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Government of Maharashtra kindly inaugurated the Global Handwashing Day with Mr. Sanjay Bansode, State Minister, Water Supply and Sanitation Department giving the introductory remarks.

Teasers by UNICEF Maharashtra on the  importance of hand hygiene and activities under the campaign can be seen here

Further videos developed by UNICEF Maharashtra were released by Hon’ble minister, Water Supply and Sanitation Department on digital forms of communication such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, to further the message outreach


The combined efforts led to 10 million people getting aware of hand hygiene and various practices. 
Excerpts from the report prepared by The Secretariat, Maha-UWES-C:
Over 40 % of the population were reached through short videos via various communication platforms like print and electronic media, and 29 % reached were targeted through social media activities on their handheld devices. Approximately 31.81 lakh people were directly engaged through outreach activities which is 31 % of the total population.In addition, 67,237 soaps were collected in a day as part of the GHD celebration. 


GoM with the support of UNICEF celebrated the day virtually to increase awareness on hand hygiene, briefed about the  effective, and affordable ways to prevent diseases and save lives. 

Audience for the event included front line workers like AWW, ASHA, Swachhagrahi, BRCs, CRCs, leaders from Department of Education, Department for Women and Child Development, Health Department at district levels, under the leadership of CEO, Zilla Parishad. 

Hon.Smt.Rubal Agarwal, Commissioner ICDS and Mr. Anand Khandagale, Deputy Commissioner was our Guest at a webinar by  the Secretariat, Maha-UWES-C along with UNICEF Maharashtra and Centre for Youth Development Activities, Nashik(CYDA) and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Maharashtra State. The webinar was attended by more than 2000 ICDS personnel.

Further details can be found in the report prepared by The Secretariat, Maha-UWES-C below:


GHD 2021 Report

Global Handwashing Day 2021
12 October 2021

Global Handwashing Day 2021
12 October 2021

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