Tech & Innovation
Saving lives through the language of play

Over two million children die from diarrhoea each year. Out of this distressing number, a large proportion originates in India. Lifebuoy is on a mission to significantly reduce this figure, by promoting to children the importance of washing their hands with soap.

Part of the problem in India, Lifebuoy found, was that in many rural schools, children weren’t washing their hands before lunch. Although they had soap, the only means of accessing clean water was via heavy, hand operated pumps, which proved cumbersome and difficult to use, especially for younger children.

The answer? Turn the pump into a rocking horse, using a simple screw-on mechanism. And so the Jump Pump was born. “Sometimes the best way to teach kids an important lesson is to distract them into learning,” says Rahul Saigal, President of Geometry Global in India. “You can’t engage children by mere preaching, you need to talk to them in a language they understand: the language of play!”

In April, Lifebuoy used India’s midday meal scheme, which feeds over 120 million children every day, to introduce kids to the Jump Pumps and share the potentially life-saving message. “We need to keep pushing the limits of creativity to help solve basic problems like poor hygiene,” says Vipul Salvi, National Creative Director of Geometry Global India. “The great thing about the Jump Pump is that it worked like a charm with kids, and it is also easy to implement as well as being cost effective.”

The Jump Pump initiative is just part of Lifebuoy’s larger aim to change the hygiene habits of one billion people by 2015. “Lifebuoy has a proud history of being a brand that stands for saving lives,” says George Koshy, General Manager (Skin Cleansing) at Hindustan Unilever. “It is indeed our mission to ensure that hand washing with soap becomes a habit for children, as a step to reducing diarrheal mortality.”

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