Bhopal: With an aim to underline the importance of personal hygiene habits, over two million children from 20,000 schools in Madhya Pradesh will endeavour to set a world record by simultaneously washing hands on October 15, observed as the Global Handwashing Day (GHD).
"To enable greater awareness about the critical role of handwashing in hygiene promotion, the state government and Madhya Pradesh Technical Assistance Support Team (MPTAST) are attempting to set Guinness Book of World Records to have the maximum number of children wash their hands in a span of an hour," Deputy Team Leader, MPWASH (Madhya Pradesh Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme, Water Aid India, Mathew Luckose told reporters in Bhopal on Monday.
The exercise, organised by the Madhya Pradesh government and MPTAST, will take place between 11 am and 12 noon on October 15.
"GHD, a campaign to motivate and mobilise millions around the world to wash their hands with soap was launched at the annual World Water Week, 2008, held in Stockholm," Madhya Pradesh State Programme Officer of Swachh Bharat Mission, Hemwati Varman said.
Mr Luckose and Mr Varman were interacting with media at a programme on 'Swachh Madhya Pradesh Campaign'.
Mr Mathew said the massive handwashing world record attempt is expected to involve around 26 lakh school children from 20,000 schools across the state.
"According to Guinness, the existing record of most people washing their hands in multiple locations till now involved 7,40,870 people during an event organised by the Pan American Health Organisation at multiple venues in Argentina, Mexico and Peru on October 11, 2011," he said.
In Madhya Pradesh, over 40,000 teachers, 20,000 witnesses and equal number of videographers will record the process at multiple locations across the state.
The first Global Handwashing Day had taken place on October 15, 2008, the date appointed by UN General Assembly in accordance with year 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.
"Ever since, it is celebrated every year on the same day to raise awareness of washing hands using soap as a key approach in prevention of diseases like diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections," she said.