by Asmita Kothari
Vaishali Gandhi visited a restaurant’s kitchen around 2-3 years ago and found dirt and insects lying around. She was disgusted by the unhygienic environment and had an urge to do something about it. Soon the Landmark Self-Expression and Leadership Program gave her the platform to work for this cause. She started her project in Ahmedabad, India and named it ‘Hygiene First’.
It all started with a bakery in June 2015; and she has worked with 50 hotels as well as 15 hawkers. She has been supported by her parents, husband and friends mainly – Savita Kataria and Vaishali Jawar have been particularly supportive, and she works with a team of 30 leaders.
Her project consists of a few steps that include:
- First visit – create awareness and explain the 40 rules of personal hygiene.
- Second visit – Organizational hygiene (workplace).
- Third visit – Setting up chimneys and fans.
The hardest part of the project took place in the first eight months, wherein she struggled to get support and felt let down, but she got lots of help from her coach Vikas Kate, as well as her financer Narendra Sirodiya. Today, a number of hotels are on the waiting list. Her future vision is to work on a larger geographical area and call it ‘Hygiene India’. She also wishes to work on many more kitchens in the schools, hostels, hospitals, mess etc to transform Ahmedabad into the most hygienic city in India.
She will soon organize annual functions and create awareness in more than a 100 schools, 400 eateries and multiple orphanages. While wrapping up she gave all the credits to the Landmark’s courses that gave her the power and taught her about integrity. She was once a villager and a housewife but now she has learnt English and works for the betterment of the society. Her most powerful transformation was –‘no more looking good’ which has helped her throughout this journey.