By Fazal Khaliq
Buner: Children and elders vowed to properly wash their hands and make it habit on the Global handwashing day here on Thursday.
School children practically demonstrated cleanliness activities to motivate communities about the importance of hand-washing in a ceremony organized by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and SRSP held in Government Primary School Pir Abai in District Buner.
Children also performed skits to increase awareness and understanding about cleanliness and its importance for human health.
“The October 15 is the day to remind us the importance of cleanliness but it does not mean that we exercise the handwashing activity only on this day,” said tehsil nazim Daggar, Saeed Ur Rehman, adding, “We should keep the habit throughout the year to wash hands before eating and doing other works. This is what Islam teaches us.”
He further said that cleanliness had pivotal role in Islam which termed it as half of the faith.
Sub Divisional Education Officer Himayatullah Khan said that the message of handwashing activity should not be limited to the ceremony but must be practiced at homes and in community too.
“Children and elders who learnt and understood the importance of handwashing today should spread the message to their family members when return homes,” he said.
He said the Education Department appreciated positive activities in the schools.
Shukaib Jan, the Wash Officer in Unicef said that 80 percent of children die due to the diseases caused by waterborne and food borne diseases spread by contaminated hands.
“By washing hands with soap we can easily stop spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness and stay healthy,” he said, adding that people should also focus on their surroundings’ cleanliness as they do in their houses.
He also stressed on hygienic practices in schools.
Speakers said that due to unhygienic practices and not washing hands 13 children die every hour in Pakistan which meant 113,000 deaths of children every year in the country.
Nazish Bibi a grade five student said in that elders and children must take handwashing seriously to make Pakistan healthy and prosperous.
“I really enjoy my food and other activities when I wash my hands properly with soap,” she said.
SRSP Regional Manager Zahid Khan said that healthy generation was the need of the day. “We need hygienic practices more than the developmental projects. First we have to create healthy nation and then all other things come after it,” he said.
Community members, elders and children vowed to follow handwashing practice seriously to avoid disease and illness.