Dharamshala: As part of a nationwide initiative to spread awareness on sanitation and need to use toilets, UNICEF, ICC and BCCI have launched Team Swachh clinics, which will cover every venue which will host matches of the upcoming ICC World T20 tournament in the country.
With Rishi Dhawan, a member of the Indian cricket team, hitting for a six tennis balls representing "germs" into the specially-designed WASH clinics, the launch of the clinics took off from the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) cricket grounds premises here.
Dhawan, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, soon saw children from an NGO reciprocating his act after they recited before him messages on sanitation.
Though Dhawan chose to remain mum before the media during the entire event, students from local schools spoke with eloquence the purpose behind the act.
"Through this act, we want to explain the need to avoid defecating in the open," said Manan, a class VII student.
UNICEF Communications Officer Ideris Ahmad raised serious concerns over the alarming figures of patients of diarrhoea and the ways to tackle the challenge.
"If we look at the statistics, 594 million (nearly half of the population of India) defecate in open. This means everyday many children die of diarhhoea. Not only they (the children) become ill but also miss out school which affects their learning capabilities.
"The idea behind this campaign was that we have this very serious message and get them through very simple ideas like WASH clinics where we talk about very things like hand washing. We discuss about methods of hand washing as it can save millions of lives," said Ahmad.
The UNICEF official also deliberated on the concept of WASH clinics as an innovative, exciting and easy manner using which they ask to spread the message to use toilets.
After Dharamshala, the ICC WT20 Host City Tour will visit each of the venues where ICC WT20 matches will be played.
While it travelled to Mohali today, Delhiites would be welcoming the tour on February 18.
The other host cities include Kolkata (Feb 24), Nagpur (Feb 27), Chennai (March 1), Bengaluru (March 3) and Mumbai (March 6).