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Healthcare Projects

Bringing Healthcare Solutions at the Doorstep of Kolkata Slums

Bringing Healthcare Solutions at the Doorstep of Kolkata Slums

History of slums in Kolkata dates back to the colonial era when Calcutta used to be the financial capital of East India Company. Rapid urbanization and industrial growth during the 20th century led to the migration of cheap labour from different districts of West Bengal and adjoining states. Due to lack of adequate and affordable housing, these people settled around industrial sites and vacant areas along roads, canals, drains, railway lines and other marginal lands giving birth to squatter settlements. Even after 150 years, slum dwellers account for one-third of Kolkata’s total population of 4.5 million (as per Census 2011). Over 40% of these people have lived in slums for two generations or longer, and more than half constitute migrants from the hinterland.

According to reports, there are 2011 registered and 3500 unregistered slums in Kolkata housing a population of about 1.5 million. Majority of these slum dwellers, working as domestic workers, daily wage labourers, factory workers, rickshaw pullers, hawkers and security guards, live below the poverty line. The overcrowded and dilapidated physical environment in bustees and squatter settlements further leaves them struggling for survival. Bore well drinking water, poor drainage, unhygienic public toilets and lack of other basic amenities make the slums of Kolkata unfit for human habitation. Such deplorable economic and living conditions are detrimental to the dignity of slum dwellers and make them vulnerable to health risks, such as diarrhoea, dysentery, worm infestation, scabies, malaria, typhoid, dengue, tuberculosis, UTI/RTI, and skin disorders.


Understanding the need of the hour, Smile Foundation has joined hands with Deutsche Bank to render free-of-cost healthcare services at the doorstep of slum dwellers across Kolkata. Around 40 slum areas are targeted under this initiative, including Camp Bagan, Coal Berth, Sona Dingi, Goragacha, EJC Quarter, Dombasti, Jain Kunj and Dhapa Durgapur. Smile Foundation’s Smile on Wheels mobile hospital is deployed in these areas with a team of medical experts to provide medical consultation, diagnosis, lab testing, and medicine distribution facilities to the unwell. In addition, the team provides referral services to patients with any serious threat to health.

Besides offering medical care, the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital aims to encourage health-seeking behaviour among underprivileged families and children. The Community Mobilizer holds the responsibility of educating the slum dwellers on the importance of hygiene, healthcare and nutrition through various IEC activities. Special workshops and community meetings are held to sensitise pregnant and lactating mothers on ANC/PNC, breastfeeding, immunization and other related issues; considering the high maternal and infant mortality rate in slum households.

Project Highlights

  • Providing healthcare services to at least 3.5 lakh families and children within a year.

  • Regular OPDs conducted in 40 slum areas for medical check-ups, pathological tests and medicine distribution

  • Bringing the government and the communities closer through referral services.

  • IEC activities conducted to sensitise the slum communities on the importance of basic healthcare and hygiene and develop health-seeking behaviour in them.

  • Special focus on pregnant women as they fall into the high-risk group category.


A total 81 opds organized

Total numbers of female and child beneficiaries were 3726

124 pathological tests were conducted so far

A total of 4866 people benefited from the healthcare services provided

Healthcare Projects

Reaching out to the Underprivileged of Mumbai through Healthcare

Reaching out to the Underprivileged of Mumbai through Healthcare

Had Mumbai been a word, it would have been the perfect example of an oxymoron with the two contradictory lifestyles led by its people. While Mumbai is the richest Indian city with the highest number of millionaires and billionaires, it is also home to country’s largest slum population of 5.2 million (as per Census 2011). The city’s skyline is dominated by over 3000 high-rise residential buildings; yet nearly half of its total population of 12.44 million still live in tightly-packed shanties with no access to something as basic as toilets. Mass migration has been difficult for Mumbai to absorb primarily because of its peculiar geography and scarcity of land, but more so due to lack of infrastructure facilities and unaffordable housing for economically weaker communities.

With limited access to civic amenities, around 1 million slums across Mumbai are characterised by unhygienic, squalid and overcrowded conditions that pose a major threat to their inhabitants’ health. Open defecation, poor drainage system and unsafe drinking water are the root cause of diseases like diarrhoea, scabies, worm infestation, dysentery, malaria, typhoid, dengue and skin infection prevalent in these slums and squatter settlements. Most of the slum residents work as daily wage labourers, housemaids and Naka workers (informal labourers picked by contractors) and can barely make the ends meet, let alone spend money on healthcare measures.


For improving the lives of people in Mumbai slums and providing them free-of-cost medical care services, Smile Foundation has partnered with Deutsche Bank. Under this intervention, a Smile on Wheels mobile hospital unit is deployed in 10 slum areas across the city including Waldhuni, Netiwali, Kate Manavali, Tisgaon Naka, Kolsewadi and Ambedkar Nagar. Home to a population of 5 lakh, these slum colonies lack basic civic amenities like sewage & sanitation, safe drinking water and drainage and hence, are a hotbed of communicable and vector borne diseases.

Through Smile on Wheels, Smile Foundation brings primary healthcare services at the doorstep of impoverished families and children living in these areas. A team of Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist and Lab Technician are present in the vehicle for medical consultation, diagnosis, lab tests and medicine distribution. There is also a Community Mobilizer on board who spreads awareness on basic healthcare, hygiene and nutrition through group discussions, workshops, streets plays and other IEC activities. Special sessions are arranged to educate pregnant and lactating women on healthy diet, maternal and infant nutrition, ANC/PNC, breastfeeding, and immunization. Referral services are also offered to bridge the gap between the community and the government.

Project Highlights

  • At least 5 lakh beneficiaries to be reached directly within a year.

  • Regular OPDs conducted in ten slums for health check-ups, lab tests and distribution of free medicines.

  • Community meetings, school health programmes and IEC activities conducted to foster health-seeking behaviour among families and children.

  • Pregnant women, ‘being the high-risk’ group, are given detailed workshops on maternal and infant nutrition, ANC/PNC, immunization and other related issues.

  • Patients with serious threats to health referred to government or charitable hospitals.


A total 55 OPDs organized

Total number of female and child beneficiaries was 3586

60 pathological tests were conducted so far

A total of 5174 people benefited from the healthcare services provided

Healthcare Projects

Uplifting the Underprivileged in Surat through Healthcare

Uplifting the Underprivileged in Surat through Healthcare

Home to a population of 4.47 million, Surat is the second largest city in Gujarat and a major hub of India’s textile and diamond industries. Employment options in its signature industries has led to a rapid influx of migrants in the city from all over Gujarat and other parts of India like Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. As per the provisional figures of Census 2011, more than 10% of the city population lives in slums; however, this does not include a significant number of non-notified slums that have over 3.84 lakh households. Health assessment studies reveal that the total percentage of slum population in Surat is as high as 40%.

These slum dwellers, living below the poverty line, are generally engaged in daily wage labour, domestic help, rickshaw/auto driving, rag picking and other unskilled/semi-skilled jobs to make a livelihood. However, overcrowding, congestion and unhygienic and dismal physical environment make living conditions grim for them. Lack of civic facilities like drinking water, garbage disposal, sanitation, drainage, and community toilets makes them susceptible to diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, malaria, typhoid, dengue and pneumonia. Illiteracy, poor hygiene and lack of health-seeking behaviour further add to their vulnerability to health risks.


Smile Foundation has partnered with Deutsche Bank in its mission to improve health conditions in the slums of Surat and sensitise their underprivileged people on health risks, their causes and prevention. For the same, Smile Foundation has implemented Smile on Wheels mobile hospital programme in Kathor Village, Azadnagar Rasulabad, Chaprabhatha, Jadabawa, Abrama, Amroli, Utran, Goradra, Patelnagar, Kosad etc. The primary aim of this Mobile Health Unit is to deliver essential healthcare solutions to the underserved at their doorstep.

With a team of medical experts and state-of-the-art equipment, this mobile hospital is equipped to provide medical consultation, diagnosis, medicines and lab testing facilities to the patients for free. Community mobilizers, on the other hand, take charge of communication interventions like group meetings, school health programmes, street plays, audio visual shows and health talks to spread awareness and enhance health-seeking behaviour in men, women and children. Special IEC activities are conducted for pregnant women to address health issues related to ANC/PNC, maternal and infant nutrition, breastfeeding and immunization.

Besides dispensing preventive, promotive and curative health services, Smile Foundation also facilitates referrals for people with serious threats to health by linking to speciality services at the government health institutions or charitable hospitals close by.

Project Highlights

  • Targeting to reach around 1.25 lakh beneficiaries residing in 15 slums of Surat in a year.

  • Free-of-cost medical check-ups, pathological tests and medicine distribution conducted through regular OPDs and special health camps.

  • Regular IEC activities like street plays, community meetings and school health programs conducted to promote healthy living practices among families and children.

  • Special focus on pregnant and lactating mothers through ANC/PNC and immunization services to decrease maternal and infant mortality rates.

  • Referral services provided to patients to link underprivileged communities with the public healthcare system.


A total 84 OPDs organized

Total number of female and child beneficiaries was 2850

42 pathological tests were conducted so far.

A total of 3592 people benefited from the healthcare services provided

Healthcare Projects

Improving the Lives of the Underserved In Bangalore

Improving the Lives of the Underserved In Bangalore

Over the last two decades, Bangalore has witnessed rapid industrialisation resulting in improved infrastructure and booming technology sector. The growth has created vast wealth for many, but it has also exposed India’s IT capital to migration of people from different parts of Karnataka and other states resulting in increase in the number of slums as well in the city. According to reports, more than 2 million people of Bangalore, who constitute a quarter of its total population of 8.4 million, live in slums primarily due to their poor socio-economic conditions. Most of these slum residents are engaged in construction work or informal labour to make the ends meet.

Reportedly, the city has at least 600 slums and several other unaccounted squatter settlements. The inhuman conditions in these areas deny its residents their right to basic amenities, such as drinking water, sanitation, drainage system, toilets and garbage disposal. Unhygienic conditions, clubbed with overcrowding and poor ventilation, have made these slums a breeding ground for preventable and vector borne diseases like tuberculosis, diabetes, malaria and dengue. Lack of health-seeking behaviour and limited access to health facilities further makes it challenging for vulnerable communities, especially pregnant women and children, to lead a healthy life.


At Smile Foundation, we understand and believe that early detection and treatment can curb the spread of a disease and lead the underprivileged sections of the society towards healthy living. Hence, we have joined hands with Philips to bring primary healthcare services to over 10 slums in Bangalore including BK Nagar, Kempapura, Amruthahalli, Kodugehalli and Dasarahalli under the unique Smile on Wheels (SoW) programme. The primary aim of this intervention is to attend to the health of men, women and children residing in these slums, and provide a wide range of preventive, promotive and curative healthcare services at their doorstep.

To serve the purpose, a self-contained Mobile Hospital Unit is dispensed in the target areas with a team of medical experts and community mobilizers. The medical van has all the necessary lab equipment and other facilities to provide medical consultation, diagnosis and lab testing services to the beneficiaries along with free distribution of medicines. Street plays, health talks and other IEC activities are conducted to sensitise slum dwellers on the essence of nutrition and general hygiene. Pregnant women, being the ‘high-risk’ group, are given special counselling antenatal and postnatal care, immunization, breastfeeding and family planning. Referral services are also provided to connect the underserved communities with the government.

Project Highlights

  • The project will benefit at least 35,000 beneficiaries from 10 slum clusters in Bangalore, every year.

  • Regular OPDs are conducted every month to offer medical consultation, diagnosis, lab testing, and medicine distribution services.

  • Many IEC activities and school health programmes are organised on topics like Personal Hygiene, Nutrition and Family Planning to encourage health-seeking behaviour in men, women and children.

  • Awareness sessions are conducted to educate women on pregnancy and newborn care related issues like ANC/PNC, immunization and breastfeeding.

  • Referral services provided to patients in need of institutional care.


A total 76 OPDS organized

Total number of female beneficiaries was 1732

75 pathological tests were conducted so far.

A total of 2862 people benefited from the health care services provided

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3. Smile Foundation is not expressly or impliedly responsible for, or liable to any loss or damage caused to a user by the collection, use and retention of Personal Information by such website in any manner whatsoever. It is important that the users review the privacy policies of all websites they visit before disclosing any information to such websites.

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2. If you have any questions at all about Smile Foundation’s privacy policy, please write to us at: [email protected]

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Welcome to this web-site of SMILE FOUNDATION. We make public our policy on refund and cancellation of donations received for the social cause on payment gateway as under:-

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