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Global Handwashing Day 2021 – October 15

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2021 Global Handwashing DayThe Global Handwashing day is annually observed across the globe on October 15th to create awareness about the importance of washing hands regularly. The day also aims to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.

The theme of the Global Handwashing Day 2021 is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together”.


i.Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) initiated the observance of the Global Handwashing Day across the globe on 15th October of every year.

ii.The first ever Global Handwashing Day was observed in 2008. 

State of the world’s hand hygiene:

i.The World Health Organisation(WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund(UNICEF) launched the report titled “State of the world’s hand hygiene: A global call to action to make hand hygiene a priority in policy and practice”

ii.This is a first of its kind report that consolidates various data sets to present the current status of hand hygiene, highlight lagging progress, and call governments and supporting agencies to action.

iii.This report presents a compelling case for investment in five key ‘accelerators’ as a pathway towards achieving hand hygiene for all – governance, financing, capacity development, data and information, and innovation.

Key Points:

i.In 2021, around 2.3 billion people across the globe cannot wash their hands with soap and water at home and one-third of the world’s health facilities lack hand hygiene resources at the point of care.

ii.In the past 5 years, around 500 million people have gained access to basic hand hygiene facilities.

Hand Hygiene for All:

In 2020, UNICEF, WHO and other partners launched the Hand Hygiene for All initiative, with the aim to promote hand hygiene as long-term sustainable change.

Lifebuoy & MoE Launched Ruskin Bond’s Book ‘H for Handwashing Alphabet Book’:

Hygiene soap brand, Lifebuoy and the Ministry of Education(MoE) launched the book titled “H for Handwashing Alphabet Book”, authored by Ruskin Bond and illustrated by Omkar Mahashabde, under its “H for Handwashing” campaign.

  • The book was unveiled by Bollywood Actor Kajol(Lifebuoy’s Handwashing Ambassador) and Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director(CMD), Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL).

  • The Ministry has partnered with various Non Governmental Organisations(NGOs) to disseminate the book among the schools across India.