How Savlon Taught Kids To Wash Hands With Soap Through Chalk Sticks

Washing hands with soap seems like a simple enough habit that might be easy to inculcate, however, when it comes to kids, many of them are not habituated to doing so. This is even truer in rural areas where soap is considered a luxury and people believe that washing hands with water is enough.

According to the WHO, India accounts for the second-highest death rate of children who are less than five years of age in South-east Asia, due to poor hygiene, sanitation and environmental factors. 

So Savlon found a way to teach kids to use soap with an ingenious campaign conceptualised by Ogilvy India.

Most children attending schools in rural India were using chalk and slate to learn. Using this insight, the brand created chalks infused with soap to distribute among these students through the Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks initiative.

The formulations for the chalks went through rigorous safety tests and worked like magic.

At lunch break, the chalk powder on their hands would turn into soap upon contact with water, delighting children while also inculcating a good hand hygiene habit.

The simple yet brilliant idea was introduced in over a hundred schools across the country and made national news.

After receiving approval from the FSSAI, Akshay Patra – the provider of the world’s largest midday meals programme – reached out to the brand. Together, they distributed the chalks to over a million kids all over India.