Personal hygiene practices, especially among the children, are taught throughout the Amrita SeRVe villages. Health workers and village coordinators are constantly giving awareness on the importance of hand washing. They are keeping an eye on every child’s hygiene practices by checking regularly their habits of hand washing, taking bath, hair washing, nail cutting and teeth brushing.
Recently, Ratanpur village in Bihar got a five-day visitors from Amrita University’s Live-in-Labs who felt inspired to contribute to children’s cleanliness habits.
Noticing that many of the small children who are playing all day long on dusty ground, Debasish and Aswath decided to organize a bath and cleanliness session for them. First they went to buy towels, shampoo, soaps and body moisturizer. The next day at 7 am they were already gathering the children around the hand pump with the help of 8th standard student Anil who went and called the kids.
Health worker cum village coordinator Urmila gave bath to the girls and Debasish took care of the boys. Aswath and village coordinator Nandikishor assisted the happening. Over 30 children came to have a bath and mothers brought their little ones also.
Debasish recollects the insight he realized while taking care of the children: “If we can express love and concern for a child, that will bring a transformation in the childhood – the feeling of being loved and cared for. Also, the mother feels that her child is being loved.” He emphasizes that especially when a child is getting the attention and loving care of elders during bathing time, that sense of cleanliness is giving a dignified feeling to the child.
“When I go to the villages now, I don’t bring with me the prospect to make big changes in the villages. I go with this small expectation: if all I can do is hug just one person, my job is done. For me that gives a sense of contentment,” he concludes.