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Indigenous hand washing station by Jhabua girl goes viral; other adolescents replicate

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Senior Correspondent

BHOPAL: A video of girl washing hands with at a self-made indigenous hand washing station in a village of tribal Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh has gone viral on social media in the time of Coronavirus pandemic.

The video has been shared around 48000 times and reaching out to lakhs of people till now.  Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also appreciated the children of Jhabua for their creativity.  

The video shows Riya, an adolescent from village Nowgoan in Meghnagar block of Jhabua using the small indigenous hand washing station, which she had made using wooden sticks, two used plastic bottles and a stone. As soon the feet is kept on wooden panel, bottle of soap and water turn over, so that soap and water can flow from the bottles and the user does not need to touch any of them, thus making it totally safe to use in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

The station does not cost anything except the soap solution which was also made at home. Hand washing with soap is one of the key interventions for COVID-19 infection. Riya says that she had seen a hand washing station used by Army over social media, which was operated by feet and so she thought to replicate this in her village with local options using wooden sticks, used bottles and stone/brick. 

Her idea has caught on as other adolescents are picking this up. Ten more adolescents of the same village have set up this hand washing station. Moreover,  25 children in adjoining village and adolescents in Chhatisgarh who have seen the video on social media are also using similar ways to make local hand washing stations, shares Gayatri Parihar, of Vasudha Sanasthan, NGO which works with UNICEF in Jhabua with adolescents. 

Michael Juma, Chief, UNICEF Madhya Pradesh said that the idea was incredibly inspiring initiative for hand washing with soap. “This idea of adolescents in Jhabua needs replication in other districts. Progressively, adolescents in Jhabua have been proactive in advancing child rights. We may need to leverage their experiences to roll out sustained advocacy on infection prevention and control and hygiene management practices for COVID-19 response in the district and beyond whilst maintaining social distancing,” he has said.