Global Handwashing Day 2021 is observed on October 15. The day in a way tries to spread awareness about the importance of hygiene. The theme for 2021 is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.” The day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership. The day focuses on the importance of hand wash and comes up with “creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times”.
In 2008, the first World Handwashing Day was celebrated in more than 70 nations. More than 120 million children across the world participated that year. All children washed their hands with soap. Since then, people are observing the day to spread awareness about “washing hands, build sinks and tippy taps, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands.”
Schools, colleges and universities organise a number of events to highlight the importance of the day. Students are encouraged to take part in debates and essay writing competitions at such events.
Keeping your hands clean can prevent a range of respiratory and diarrhoeal illnesses that could severely affect your health. The day also spreads knowledge about the importance of clean water and the availability of soap in public schools, health care facilities and other public places.
The day becomes much more crucial in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per experts, handwashing is a must at the time of making food, after using the restroom, before dining, after blowing your nose or sneezing or coughing. The day was first observed by the Global Handwashing Partnership, an international alliance of institutions that promoted effective handwashing with soap.