Nepali Maoists Organize an SMS Campaign -- It's Global Handwashing Day!

Communists, Cricketers, Animated Stars Turn Out to Get South Asian Kids to Lather Up

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The likelihood of contracting bad stuff like diarrhea and respiratory infections is reduced when people wash their hands before eating and after doing their "business." To that end, a group of entities from Unicef to Procter & Gamble have organized Global Handwashing Day -- and it's today. The effort is aimed at South Asian kids, many of whom engage in "open defecation," which a Unicef press release defines as "Defecation in fields, forests, bushes, bodies of water or other open spaces, or disposal of human feces with solid waste. "

Each country is participating in its own way. The Nepalese are sending out texts reminding folks to lather up. Bhutan has created animated videos. Sri Lankans are publicizing the steps of surgical sanitation everywhere from clinics to tea plantations. Bangladeshi playgrounds are getting cakes of soap and songs about soap. P&G's Commander Safeguard (see clip below) is supporting the day in Pakistan. And Indian airwaves are being blasted by a PSA starring cricket star Sachin Tendulkar.

And here's the promised Commander Safeguard clip:

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