PM Modi addressed the gathering at the Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sangh Adhiveshan, which is the 29th Biennial Conference of the All India Primary Teacher’ Federation. In his address, he attributed the teachers as the pioneer of promoting a ‘sense of hygiene’ among students. PM Modi said that schools and teachers play an important role as agents of socialization and that through their efforts they can ingrain a sense of hygiene among students.
Elaborating on the same, PM Modi emphasized on the importance of fitness, nutrition, and among others and also spoke about how they all are inter-related not only in developing our personality but also developing a ‘sense of hygiene’. Citing the example of the Mid-Day Meal scheme and its importance in ameliorating the challenge of malnutrition, PM Modi stated, “Serving food to the poor and needy should be viewed as a societal objective and achievement to eradicate hunger and enable the attainment of nutrition for all”. On the same, PM Modi also suggested that two elderly people from the village must participate in serving food to the children and must eat together with them to create this sense of belonging. This, he said, will inculcate a sense of food hygiene.
PM Modi further stated that teachers have been the shining examples in inculcating a sense of hygiene among students. Here, PM Modi narrated an example of how a teacher in one of the tribal areas of Gujarat would give handkerchiefs to students which she would stich and prepare from her old saris. The striking feature of this aspect was that the teacher would take back these handkerchiefs with her and would wash them and get back the next day, showcasing the importance of personal hygiene being reinforced among students through teachers.
He also spoke about a school in one of the tribal areas that had a mirror at the entrance which brought about a cultural change in students who before entering the class looked into the mirror and groomed them accordingly and then walked into the class. This not only created a sense of hygiene but also served as a boost to the confidence of the various students.