BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh today marked the World Handwashing Day with an attempt to set a world record in mass handwashing.
Over one crore students across 1,14,000 schools and 80,000 anganwadis (state-run nursery schools) washed hands today, an official release said.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan kicked off the program at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School here by washing the hands of some students with soap.
"Sanitation is necessary for disease-free life and happiness," the Chief Minister said on this occasion.
WaterAid India, which had made arrangement for entering the event in the Guinness Book of World Records, said, "As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in Madhya Pradesh, more than 20 lakh school children simultaneously washed their hands across the state on Global Handwashing Day today.
"It is an attempt to establish a new world record for maximum number of people washing their hands in multiple locations." The event involved school children from 20,000 schools washing hands between 11 am to 12 noon.
WaterAid India's media officer Pragya Gupta also clarified that it had made arrangement for recording the handwashing by only 20 lakh students as per the Guinness Book's guidelines, while the government had taken into account the participation at all its schools, hence the difference in two figures.
Chouhan said etiquettes of sanitation and hygiene exist in the Indian tradition, and in olden times, elders did not allow anyone to enter the house without washing hands and feet.
Global Handwashing Day is observed on October 15 every year. It aims at raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.