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Swachhta Doots

Swachhta Doots

The Swachhata Doot programme has been developed and designed by Hindustan Unilever Ltd(HUL).

HUL has now run the programme at their 25 factories since last 2.5 years through 4000 Swachhata Doots volunteering in 3000+ villages . Through this programme HUL has been able to reach out to around 7.5 million people.

HUL has very kindly given ISC the right to extend the programme to other corporates throughout the country, and then to also include large institutions like the armed and para military forces railway, police etc.

ISC is attempting to create a national movement to bring about behaviour change.

Swachhata Doot Programme:

The Swachhata Doot programme is an effective grassroots Behaviour Change Model with structured volunteering at large scale. The programme accentuates the following:

  • It is a corporate volunteering program, where factory worker gets an opportunity to become “Swachhata Doot” who is a ‘messenger of clean habits’. To devote some of their time to promote ‘swachhata’ and swachh adats’ (clean habits) in villages around the industrial unit/factory. He become “WASH evangelists” within their respective communities and areas and aims to improve knowledge, and help change behaviour within communities and to create awareness of the consequences of open defecation and thereby, help reduce illnesses caused by open defecation. This helps with preventing loss of daily wages when ill, or two wages when the wife or children are ill.
  • Doots belong to the community and are not outsiders and hence would be more acceptable to talk about WASH practises.

How does the Programme run :

  • Each volunteer will initially be trained by a master trainer on how to bring about behavior change for a larger number of people in surrounding communities for their good.
  • Allows factory workers to use a ‘Missed Call’ service to a Toll-Free Number to play contextual audio stories that explain the importance of adoption of correct WASH behaviours. This ensures a consistant message at all venues.
  • Volunteers then relay audio content stories to the village at important touch points like
    1. Schools,
    2. Anganwaadis (mother and childcare centres),
    3. Mohalla/public meeting places like gram panchayats, etc.
  • The messages are targetted at different target audiences like women, boys, girls, men, adults etc. These messages are also communicated in the vernacular where till now nine languages have been covered.
  • A swachhata Doot makes every person around him/her realize the importance of good sanitation and hygienic habits in reducing illnesses through three simple steps:
    • Teach the importance/benefits of hygienic habits
    • Influence attitudes to bring about behaviourial change
    • Ensuring Changed habits through continued reminders and participation

Three key messages

  • Washing hands with soap at critical times
  • Adopt safe drinking water practices
  • Use a toilet to defecate and keep it clean


  • Any session contains certain key components:
    • The main channel to conduct the sessions are mobile audio stories followed by discussion and a pledge.
    • Every session begins with the company employee/factory worker introducing him/herself, followed by setting the context for the mobile stories
    • Visual aids (posters that depict handwashing steps) are also used to explain and demonstrate the hygiene habits along with games played during the session.
    • Questions are asked to encourage participation and small gifts (like book stickers) are given to the students.
    • One session takes about 30-45 mins
    • A Card with the 1-800 number for the missed call is given to the various participants of the different sessions so that they can call and listen to the stories regularly
  • Easy to recall toll-free number that can be dialled from any phone: Delivers swachhata messages 3 aadats (habits) to the different target segments.
  • The stories are customised for children, mothers and adults including 4 stories for school, 3 stories for aanganwadis and 2 stories for mohalla. These stories are available in 9 languages. The system recognises the location of the call and uses the language best suited.

Expected Outcomes:

The program has several positive outcomes for all concerned stakeholders:

  • The Corporate – being a good corporate citizen and helping communities, for better health through safe sanitation behavior and practices. Company engagement is appreciated by the surrounding communities.
  • The Workers would gain by helping communities by promoting safe sanitation for their numerous health aspects, and from the recognition the company would provide by appreciating the work done by them at internal meetings. Thus an increase in employee satisfaction.
  • The Community: Help change behavior within communities and create awareness of consequences of open defecation and thereby, help reduce illness caused by open defecation. This helps will not losing daily wages when ill, or two wages when the wife or children are ill.
  • It has been seen from HUL’s 2 ½ year experience backed by IPSOS’s research that the SD is an effective program.
  • Their experience also indicated increased employee satisfaction and company engagement with community development appreciated by the surrounding communities.