Harmindar Sran Teaches Children to Wash Germs Down the Drain

(Courtesy of Harmindar Sran)
“Washing Germs Down the Drain,” written by Harmindar Sran, is about helping children learn good hygiene and help mold their behavior so they can embrace healthy habits that can benefit them throughout their lives. It’s not just for the COVID-19 pandemic, but for all times. The easy-to-read book can be used in a classroom, at home or in a pediatric clinic resource to aid in the welfare of communities.

    For Harmindar Sran, writing “Washing Germs Down the Drain” was just “ComSenS” (an abbreviation she uses for “common sense” throughout her book).   
    Sran, a registered environmental health specialist originally raised in the Fiji Islands, drew inspiration for the book after working for City of Berkeley Environmental Health enforcing local ordinances and State Health and Safety Codes to prevent the spread of disease at all public eating places, schools and institutions.
    Her work inspecting restaurants and schools exposed her to what she described as “a lack of enforcement” when it came to hand washing and general personal hygiene.   
“Sometimes they didn’t have hot water or there weren’t enough towels,” said Sran. “It never stuck with them.”
    Sran said she created “Washing Germs Down the Drain” in hopes of fostering greater dedication to personal hygiene, especially among young people.
    She wrote her book with the intention of creating a comprehensive guide to germs that could be used by parents and schools to instruct young children about the science behind and how to prevent illness. Once she had her inspiration, she self-published through Outskirts Press after dedicating a year to writing the book.
    Sran, however, was quick to add that regardless of age or occupation, “the book is targeting everyone because I am dedicated to all humans.”
    Sran said that the pandemic offered partial inspiration for her work, but “this was something that I always had inside of me.”    
    “COVID is going to come and go, but this is timeless,” she added. “Germs are not going to go away.”
    While currently in the process of moving to Orinda from El Sobrante, Sran reported she is reaching out to libraries across the Bay Area in hopes of adding her book to their shelves. She said that, COVID-19 precautions allowing, she is looking into giving readings at schools and hopes that her book will prove an effective educational tool.   
    After publishing a review manual for the Food Safety Manager Certification Exam (currently out of print) in 2000, “Washing Germs Down the Drain” is Sran’s second book, but certainly not her last.
    She shared her plans to expand into a “ComSenS” series to include books that tackle other topics “such as family values and relationships.” She hopes to continue to reach a wide audience with her upcoming titles.

Ania Keenan can be reached at ania@7keenans.org.

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