Skit Warns Against ‘Monster of Bad Hygiene’

Kashmir actor

Covered with trash, the “Monster of Germs and Uncleanliness” grabs an actor who cavalierly drank unpurified water. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

Swathed in black draperies, a monster is stalking the mountains of Kashmir. He swoops in to grab lollipop-licking children, unsuspecting apple-eaters, and overconfident villagers.

He is the Monster of Uncleanliness. Drop your lollipop on the ground; fail to wash an apple; drink from a polluted stream, and he could nab you too.

In rural villages in northeast Pakistan, the monster is making the rounds. Recently he appeared at a mountaintop school before an audience of nearly 100 laughing, clapping villagers. He snatched and shook unwary stream-drinkers, who then hugged their middles painfully, wincing at their stomach troubles. He snatched a “city boy” lucky enough to have a lollipop—but who started licking it again after he’d dropped it.

But the monster was vanquished in the end. As the comic hygiene skit came to a close, the black-garbed figure struggled to attack yet another villager. The monster was powerless—because the man was carefully washing his hands.

With little understanding of how germs are transmitted, villagers in the Kashmir area of Pakistan frequently fell ill. CRS works to develop training programs and skits in the local language that emphasize handwashing and proper handling of food and water. So far, CRS’ messages about handwashing and germs have reached over 3000 people in Kashmir; CRS will continue to give hygiene training to thousands more. Slowly but surely, the Monster of Bad Hygiene is being defeated.

– Laura Sheahen, CRS regional information officer for Asia and the Pacific Rim

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One Response to “Skit Warns Against ‘Monster of Bad Hygiene’”

  1. Guy Arceneaux Says:

    This is an uplifting story and kind of a cute approach to public health education. Seems if you can get the truth across to children the message will spread like wild fire. The repeat performances for brothers and siter and aunts and uncles will like make it fun to tell this sort of health fact too. Thanks!

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