The Saviour Chefs: WaterAid India’s new campaign to spread awareness about the importance of handwashing

5 March 2019
Harpal sokhi press release
Image: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan

A fascinating new campaign launched by WaterAid India in collaboration with three celebrity chefs to save lives by spreading the life-saving recipe of handwashing.

India continues to be home to a staggering 48 million stunted children under the age of 5 years – the highest in the world. Five or more cases of diarrhoea before two years of age can lead to stunting (impaired growth and development due to poor nutrition and repeated infection).

A simple act of handwashing with soap at critical times like after using a toilet and before eating and cooking is recognised as a highly cost-effective public health intervention, having the potential to significantly reduce disease burden.

‘The Saviour Chefs’ is a new campaign by WaterAid India where we have collaborated with three celebrity chefs - Chef Saransh Goila, Chef Harpal Sokhi and Chef Pankaj Bhadouria – to highlight how a simple habit of handwashing before eating food or cooking can help save millions of lives.

Each of the three chefs is powered with the Saving Plate, the most unique plate that brings attention to handwashing. Being a plate, it intervenes at the most relevant time and reminds a person to wash their hands before they begin to eat. The design on each plate is a beautiful art inspired from different deadly bacteria and viruses that are transmitted through dirty hands.

All three chefs use a unique recipe, the recipe for change, the recipe for disaster and the recipe for health to educate people about the importance of washing hands and hence prevent them from falling victim to diseases like diarrhoea.

Nanditta Chibber, Media & Communications Manager at WaterAid India said:

Food is very big and personal in India where people enjoy eating with hands, especially when feeding children. We believe that reaching out to people, especially parents and caregivers, through well received celebrity chefs like Pankaj, Harpal and Saransh will help spread awareness about the simple act of handwashing before eating and cooking food.

The act of handwashing is often underrated. But the fact is that this simple and cost-effective habit goes a long way in playing a critical role to prevent diarrhoeal and other hygiene related health implications that holds back growth, especially among children.

Taking forward ‘The Saving Plate’ campaign that created awareness on what we bring to the table if we don’t wash our hands, ‘The Saviour Chefs’ through unique recipes aims to reinstate this message of handwashing further.

WaterAid India’s report ‘Spotlight on handwashing in rural India’ examined the level of awareness about hand hygiene behaviour at the individual as well as household level in October 2017. The study found that only 12.6% people wash hands before feeding their child and the knowledge as well as practice of handwashing associated with childcare tasks such as child feeding, disposing of child faeces and washing a child’s bottom was low with only 7.5% people washing hands before breastfeeding.

The campaign has been conceptualised by OgilvyOne.

Sidharth Shukla, Senior Vice President & Digital Lead, OneOgilvy North India said:

Handwashing is an important part of maintaining personal hygiene, especially when it involves eating or cooking. The Saviour Chefs Campaign is an interesting way to draw this very important correlation between Handwashing and Food. The campaign was built on some eye opening facts which highlight the life threatening diseases that one is susceptible to when hands carry deadly bacteria and viruses to the plate. At Ogilvy, we are proud to partner with WaterAid India to make handwashing a habit.

To join the mission of saving lives by promoting handwashing, support  WaterAid India’s ‘The Saviour Chefs’ campaign at:


To know more about The Saving Plate, visit:

To see the link to The Saviour Chefs campaign teaser featuring all 3 chefs, visit:

For more information, please contact:
Our media team at [email protected]

Notes to editors


WaterAid is an international not-for-profit, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Only by tackling these three essentials in ways that last can people change their lives for good. Working in India since 1986, WaterAid has successfully implemented water, sanitation, and hygiene projects, extending benefits to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities across 11+ of India’s 29 States. For more information, visit, follow @WaterAidIndia on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

Chef Saransh Goila

Quote: “In my Saviour Chef Avatar, I have cooked a ‘Recipe for Change’. It was very hard-hitting to know that Diarrhoea is the second largest killer for children in India. Through my recipe, I would like to inspire as many people to bring about this small change in the way you cook, eat and serve food. I urge everyone, especially parents and caregivers to wash their hands before cooking, serving and eating food. This small step can help us save few precious lives.”

Profile: Saransh Goila is an Indian chef who won Food Food Maha Challenge. He is the founder of a popular Mumbai based restaurant 'Goila Butter Chicken' and author of the acclaimed food travelogue 'India on my Platter'. In 2018, he was invited to be a guest judge from India on MasterChef Australia where contestants had to cook his version of Butter Chicken.

Chef Pankaj Bhadouria

Quote: “As a Saviour Chef, I have collaborated with WaterAid India to cook a ‘Recipe for Health’. Being a teacher and mother, I immediately connected with the Saving Plate’s message and would like to take it far and wide. Unwashed hands can transfer a lot of bacteria and viruses so a simple act of washing hands properly with soap can save many lives. I urge all my followers to support this initiative by donating to WaterAid India at

Profile: Pankaj Bhadouria is India’s First MasterChef. She has hosted various popular TV shows like Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka (Star Plus), Kifayati Kitchen (Zee Khana Khazana), 3 Course with Pankaj season 1 & 2 (Living Foodz), Rasoi se- Pankaj Bhadouria ke Saath (ETV), Sales Ka Baazigar (ETV), Health in 100 ( LF) and Dream Kitchen (LF). She was the first MasterChef Winner worldwide to have an official MasterChef Cook book in her name and has authored 5 books so far. She is also a face for many brands and the recipient of many awards including being felicitated by the Honorable President of India, Shri. Ram Nath Kovind ji with the First Ladies Award, awarded by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Welfare.

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi

Quote: “As a Saviour Chef, I have collaborated with WaterAid India to cook a ‘Recipe for Disaster’. I believe that we are spreading love through cooking and if anyone is falling sick by eating that food, it is a disaster. As a chef, I would like to appeal to all my followers to wash their hands with soap before cooking and eating food. Unfortunately, several schools in India still do not have proper handwashing facilities that hampers the growth of our children so I would again urge my fans to support this initiative and donate to WaterAid India at:

Profile: Harpal Singh Sokhi is a celebrity chef from India. As a chef, he worked with multiple hotel and restaurant chains, before launching his own chain – Twist of Tadka – in 2013. He has hosted the cooking show Turban Tadka, and is the Director of Turban Tadka Hospitality. He is also associated with Cafe de Nuevo and Dhadoom amongst other brands.