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First- aid training for auto-rickshaw & cab drivers at CNG stations


The Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project in Delhi-NCR, being supported by IGL, has been successfully conducting first-aid training, health awareness and counseling sessions for auto-rickshaw & cab drivers, besides providing them with doorstep preventive and curative healthcare services.

These drivers are usually the sole bread winners in the family and stay away from regular healthcare or even awareness owing to the nature of their work. The mobile hospital visits designated CNG gas stations in Delhi NCR that are frequented by such drivers.

Equipping them to handle emergency situations, the first aid training covers all general road accident scenarios. Anger management, drug and alcohol addiction, hypertension and STDs are some of the main subjects on which the drivers are counseled.

Smile children showcase science models at Auraiya Mahotsav

Children from Mission Education centres at Kannoh, Pata, Vaisundhara and Khanpur villages were invited to participate in Science Exhibition at the Auraiya Mahotsav 2016.

Organised by the District Science Club, the exhibition is an opportunity for students to learn new science concepts through easy demonstrations, interact with like-minded students from other schools, cities and villages, and display their own knowledge and interpretation of the principles of science.

Excited and enthusiastic preparations began months earlier as the children got ready with their innovative models and informative posters. A street play called “Mitti Pani Mein Sona Hai” on the properties of soil and water was also presented by girl children from the centres.

The children put up a great show which was highly appreciated by all visitors.



Home visits in Telangana to identify and train deserving youth



Volunteers and trainers from STeP programme went from door to door in the slum clusters of Nizamabad, Telengana, to raise awareness about the importance of skill training for youth. Young men and women, along with their parents were counseled on how they could build a better future.

Many of these youth have been engaged as daily wagers in small shops and factories, earning a bare minimum. Some have not been able to pursue higher studies, while others have not even finished school – owing to difficult circumstances at home. Unable to get any jobs in the organized job market, they had picked up whatever work they could find to help their families survive.

The door-to-door visits have been highly successful in mobilising the community and enrolling more and more deserving youth under STeP.

National consultation on sustainable growth of grassroots NGOs

Smile Foundation, in association with Wilde Ganzen, conducted a two-day national consultation on “Action for Sustainable Growth” aimed at capacity building of grassroots NGOs, by giving them firsthand training by the industry experts in areas such as CSR Act – how to raise and manage CSR funds, proposal writing, project management and good governance.

24 grassroots NGOs from nine states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh participated in the consultation.

Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General and CEO of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India), inaugurated the seminar and mentored the training programme, along with experts and trainers from organisations like KPMG and Ericsson.

The initiative was part of Smile Foundation's Empowering Grassroots programme under which genuine community-based organizations are identified and handheld to enhance their accountability, sustainability, scalability and leadership, and efforts are made to bring excellence in their work on ground.



 Swabhiman communities across India celebrate Women's Day

Women and girls from Swabhiman communities across India celebrated International Women's Day with élan. The activities included playing games, creating art, conducting street plays, sharing experiences, besides spending quality time together and having lots of fun.

Women from slum areas of Chhattarpur and Dhaula Kuan in Delhi spent the day interacting with employees from corporate supporters. The concept of behavioral change as a tool for women empowerment was discussed and the employees were quiet impressed with the ideas brought up by the women and the confidence with which they made their voices heard.

Bengaluru also saw grand Women's Day celebrations in which a mass awareness programme on breast cancer was conducted and the day also included some fun activities such as staging of a play by women from Mayuranagar slum called Super Family Drama.

In Chennai, the community women expressed their ideas on gender equality and role of women in society through rangoli, painting and quiz competitions.


Workshop on Relationships, Intimacy and Sexuality Education


A life skill session was held for adolescent girls on Relationships, Intimacy and Sexuality Education. The workshop addressed several issues that adolescents face and included hands-on experiential exercises on identity formation and confusion, sexual developments in the body during puberty, women and child safety, personal choice and consent, etc.

The session started with an introduction, followed by an energising activity during which generic queries on the subject were raised by the resource person, inviting enthusiastic answers by the participants. Easy to understand animation movies were screened later on menstrual hygiene and sexual abuse.

After the workshop, the girls were happy to have cleared their doubts regarding their personal health and wellness, and volunteered to share the learning with their peers from the community.

ME centre in Bilaspur records 100% attendance during PTM

For the first time, the Parents Teacher Meeting (PTM) held at Mission Education centre Mitwa in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh recorded 100 percent attendance from the parents. As the fathers could not afford to lose a day's wage if they missed work, mostly mothers had come, finishing their household chores in time and carrying their younger children.

“When we had started, these same people had resisted us with all force when we went to bring their children to the centre. And today, they are working hand in hand with us to improve their children's performance”, shares a teacher.

For the children, it has been quite a journey from being extra earning hands in their families to becoming a beacon of hope for their parents.



2500 benefit from mega health camp in Addagutta slum, Hyderabad


A multi-specialty mega health camp was conducted at the Addagutta slum in Hyderabad. Known to be the second largest slum in Asia, Addagutta is home to a huge migrant population, working as casual, daily wage labourers and rag pickers for a livelihood.

With most people working in hazardous conditions and living in congested shanties with extremely poor sanitation, being largely vulnerable to communicable diseases, an intense healthcare intervention was deemed necessary, in addition to the regular OPD being carried out by the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital in the area.

Along with three general physicians, a team of paediatrics, gynaecologists, dental surgeon, orthopaedic and ophthalmologist provided services at the two-day camp. A total of 2533 people benefitted from the camp, majority of whom were women and children.

Value Education workshops in schools across India

The Value Education workshops being conducted under the Child for Child (CFC) programme are being highly appreciated by principals and parents from schools across India. Stories, songs, real-life instances and interesting activities combine to create these fun-learning sessions for the school children.

Children and teachers now take the lead and actively participate in the workshops, coming forward to share their views about and experiences with the underprivileged sections of society and volunteering to contribute their time, knowledge and resources for their welfare.

Smile Foundation visits various privileged schools across India and conducts engaging sessions for the young minds, under CFC programme. Children are sensitized to various causes and value systems and ushered to realize the importance of growing up as responsible citizens of the country.



STeP trainees gain hands-on experience at Reliance retail outlets

A fresh badge of youth trainees from STeP centre Sankalp Manav were invited to visit the retail outlets of Reliance to get hands-on experience of dealing with customers in a professional atmosphere. Later, they were also briefed on the current job openings and desired profiles for each position.

From working as rickshaw puller to getting married off at 17, these underprivileged youth from the slums of Mumbai have lived through many challenges. However, now they finally have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams. They are all getting training in computers, English communication, retail management, soft skills and personality development at the STeP centre.

After the completion of their six month training, these youth will be further placed in various reputed retail and service sector brands.



Villagers in Rae Bareli watch animation films on health & hygiene


With an aim to spread awareness on health and hygiene through the engaging medium of audio-visual technology, animation videos were shown for three days in Majhigao, Karan and Seonthi villages of Rae Bareli district, Uttar Pradesh.

The videos informed villagers about diseases that spread due to unhygienic condition and poor sanitation and provided information on how to take measures to prevent contraction of these diseases. They were also counseled about hygiene practices and habits in their daily lives.

Before the intervention of the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital in 15 villages of Rae Bareli, these people had had only marginal access to even the most basic medical facilities. Now they have quality preventive, curative and promotive healthcare services coming to their doorsteps.

STeP students across India successfully complete training

Taking a big step forward in their journey towards building a bright future for themselves, batches of STeP students across India successfully completed their employability training. Along with professional, technical and communication skills, these underprivileged youth have also gained the confidence to overcome life's challenges.

Majority of them have already been placed at reputed service and retail brands, and have become a much needed financial support to their families, becoming the first generation of white collar workers. Others have chosen to receive further training and wait for better opportunities.

The young trainees were felicitated with course completion certificates during individual ceremonies at each centre, which turned out to be a riot of emotions, experience-sharing and celebrations.

STeP has so far trained more than 18,000 youth and placed over 12,000 youth.


 Ericsson Global supports 5 new Smile on Wheels to benefit 237,000 people

Ericsson Global Services Limited has joined hands with Smile Foundation to provide doorstep healthcare services under the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital programme. The projects will directly benefit approximately 237,000 people in 70 slum clusters spread across Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon and Noida, during a period of three years.

The intervention will make preventive, curative and promotive healthcare facilities accessible where none existed before, or was out of reach for the socio-economically disadvantaged populace. The vehicles are equipped with qualified doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians and drivers, to be overall administered by respective project coordinators. Besides medical consultation, free of cost medicines and lab testing facilities will also be provided.

Ericsson employees from all five cities got together to celebrate the launch of the partnership with Smile Foundation and enthusiastically participated in activities like health quiz, street play and health check-up camps.


Smile kids go on-Air on Radio One Kolkata

Smile Foundation children from Mission Education centre Sabuj Sangha went on-air on 94.3 Radio One Kolkata. The little RJs got a wonderful response from the audience as they shared stories, narrated poems and pulled some sweet pranks.

Calls poured in as the listeners wholeheartedly appreciated the zeal and courage of the children, motivating them to do their best. It also proved to be a fun-learning exercise for the children and boosted their confidence levels.

The centre is home to 285 children who live in small slum colonies sprawled along Eastern Railway's Sealdah south section in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Besides education, they are also provided with primary healthcare and nutrition support, along with relevant exposure to ensure their holistic development.



Walking the extra mile to reach the unreached in Uttarakhand

The Smile on Wheels team in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, conducted special health camps in eight remote villages of the district. Although these villages do not fall under the purview of the regular operations of the project, government health officials had informed the team of the poor healthcare facilities there and the dire need of the villagers.

The eight villages, namely Triyuginaran, Bhatwari, Tulanga, Kotma, Augustmuni, Lwara, Jakholi and Kalimath are cut-off from most amenities due to their remoteness and cannot be accessed by road.

Adding new meaning to the fundamental tenet of Smile on Wheels – taking healthcare to the doorsteps of the unreached, the team comprising of doctors, lab technician, pharmacists and other paramedical staff, trekked kilometres carrying medical equipments with them through the hilly terrains.

Their efforts were rewarded as 22 OPDs were conducted, benefitting 2152 villagers, and they were successful in spreading not only the smiles of good health, but also hope.



Nutrition support extended to mothers in Maharashtra

When mothers are healthy and empowered, the whole society benefits. Mothers of children enrolled at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre SHED in rural Maharashtra, were provided with stocks of dry nutritious food for themselves and their families.

These women work hand in hand with their husbands at brick kiln factories, to provide for the basic needs of their children and seldom get time to take care of their own health. This in turn affects the well being, attendance and performance of their children as they fall sick frequently and miss out a great deal in terms of education and physical activities like games and sports.

Noticing this, teachers from the centre initiated this practice, under which mothers are also counseled on good health and hygienic practices.



Activity based learning for Smile children in Bengaluru


Classroom has become equivalent to fun and excitement for children of Mission Education centre Thirupuvanam Foundation at Doddabanaswadi in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Going beyond regular teaching learning methods, teachers have introduced interactive techniques like word games, puzzles, tell-a-tale, rhyme narration and group activities to engage the children better.

Most of the children at the centre are either orphaned or belong to extremely poor families who are unable to take care of them. As such, the teachers felt the need to use unconventional teaching methods which would not only pique the kids' curiosity, but also help deviate their attention from the adverse conditions at home.

The residential centre provides quality education, nutrition, good values and care to the children, aiming at supporting their transformation into independent and responsible individuals.

Village meetings in Kalahandi to imbibe health-seeking behaviour

When the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project was initiated in 42 villages of the Kalahandi district in Odisha, health was found to be the last of concerns for most villagers.

The district has been listed as one of the most backward in India, with a history of frequent spells of drought and hunger, and the present marred with extreme poverty, lack of access to even the most basic amenities, and more recently socio-political turmoil.

To spread awareness on vital health issues and promote a health-seeking behaviour, village meetings have been initiated on a monthly basis, in addition to providing doorstep healthcare services to the villagers. Discussions are held on subjects like malaria, diarrhoea, maternal and child health, adolescent health, sanitation and hygiene through demonstrations, every-day examples and storytelling for easier understanding.



Team from TATA Westside trains youth at Delhi STeP centre


To build the youth for a better future is the only way in which development can be ushered in. Smile Foundation's employability training and placement programme STeP aims to achieve this by providing underprivileged youth with market oriented job skills, industry exposure and regular interface with prospective employers.

The HR team from TATA Westside recently visited STeP centre Basic Foundation in Delhi to interact with the young trainees and make them familiar with the everyday processes of the company's retail outlets, retail management and customer satisfaction.

They also briefed the students about prospective job opportunities in the company and conducted a preliminary round of interviews. The shortlisted candidates will attend their next round of interview at the TATA Westside office.

3rd batch of students gets scholarship to pursue engineering


50 less privileged students who have shown excellence in studies have been granted scholarship to pursue their engineering at Government Colleges across India.

Coming from different corners of the country, these children had two things in common – highly adverse economic situation at home, and the determination to overcome it.

Selected through a thorough due diligence process on a merit-cum-need basis, the children will also be provided with soft skills training, technical internship, and round the year mentoring.

A joint initiative of Smile Foundation and Siemens Ltd., the scholarship project aims to provide less privileged deserving youth with an equal opportunity to pursue professional courses and have a dignified and independent livelihood.

This is the third batch of scholars, with 129 youth from 16 states now receiving the benefits of the scholarship at various engineering colleges. Soon after completing their education, they will get internships with reputed companies, further leading to prestigious positions in leading organisations.

Societe Generale supports new Swabhiman project in Chennai

A new chapter of Swabhiman programme has been initiated in the Madavaram area of Northern Chennai and is being supported by Societe Generale. The project aims at empowering women and adolescent girls through awareness generation on reproductive and child health, and direct health camps.

Under this project, Smile Foundation aims to strengthen adolescent girls on gender issues through Life Skills Education; educate young women and male members of the community on issues of reproductive and sexual health through group meetings; and conduct regular health checkups through specialized health camps for all target beneficiaries.

The project will reach over 25000 women (with a special focus on pregnant and lactating women) and adolescent girls through its various interventions.



Doorstep health services for slum population in Bengaluru


ANZ has joined hands with Smile Foundation to provide doorstep healthcare facilities in the slum clusters of Bengaluru through a new Smile on Wheels project, which will directly benefit more than 11,800 people every year.

While Bengaluru remains a thriving metropolitan with world class medical facilities, these remain largely out of reach for the socio-economically marginalized populace living on the fringes of the city. Covering 23 slums and resettlement colonies in Bengaluru, the project will provide medical consultation, free of cost medicines and lab testing facilities to this segment of society, while also promoting a health-seeking behaviour in the communities.

The mobile hospital unit is equipped with a qualified doctor, nurse, lab technician, pharmacist and a driver, to be overall administered by a dedicated project coordinator.

Smile children in Gurgaon take educational trip

An educational trip to the National Museum and Zoo was organized for 280 students of Mission Education Centre Mera Parivar in Gurgaon.

The aim of the visit was to give them a break from regular classroom learning and widen their knowledge about the vast railway heritage of India. The children were excited to see steam engines and other archives from the early days of railways in India.

Post the railway museum, they were also taken to the national zoo where they got to learn about different animals and observed their behavior and habits. The day wrapped up with a hearty meal.

Such visits and extracurricular activities are imperative for the holistic development of children and have been made an integral part of Mission Education.



Children take lead in spreading awareness on Immunisation


Children from the Raichur slum in Bengaluru, Karnataka, set the tone for World Immunisation Day as they prepared and presented a play highlighting the importance of vaccination, which was attended by over 200 women from the community. Mothers were the main target audience for the play, as the more aware the mothers, the healthier the children.

The children were sensitised and trained by the Swabhiman team, which also conducted an immunisation camp, facilitating vaccination against eight major diseases for children less than five years of age.

Swabhiman is an empowerment programme for women and girl children, based on an innovative and highly effective approach named the “4-S Model” which means Seeking Healthcare as a Behaviour, Support through Education, Support through Male Involvement and Sustaining Change in the Community.

Children in Midnapore enjoy computer learning

Computer-enabled learning has brought in much excitement to the children of MAVA under Smile Foundation's Mission Education programme at Midnapore in West Bengal. Currently, over 300 children from Tamluk, Kolaghat and Haldia are being directly benefitted under the project.

Mostly first generation learners, these children are quietly building a better future which would also make their hard working parents – making both ends meet working as casual labor, vegetable vendors and hawkers - proud.

These children had never been introduced to computers before. Their joy was evident as they explored the newly installed systems and started learning how to use them. The aim is to bring better quality of education and facilitate the children to get aligned with the education system prevalent in formal schools.



School health camps for slum children in Kolkata


A school health camp was organised for students of Rajarhat Primary School, situated on the outskirts of Kolkata. Most children live in nearby resettlement colonies and slums which have no drainage systems, leading to highly unhygienic living conditions.

Low awareness in the community on issues of health and hygiene, along with limited access to proper medical facilities had made the children vulnerable to a number of deficiencies and diseases.

281 children went through medical check-ups and were found to be afflicted with acute malnutrition, anaemia, worms and skin infections. Free of cost medicines were provided, along with instructions of usage to teachers and parents.

Following the positive response received from parents, teachers and local authorities, more health camps are being planned in the coming months.

STeP students visit Pantaloons to gain industry exposure

30 young trainees from STeP centre Bal Vikas Dhara were invited to visit the retail outlet of Pantaloons at Select City Walk in Delhi to provide them exposure to the retail industry, which they will soon be ready to join.

Mr. Saurabh, part of the Human Resources team at Pantaloons, gave the STeP trainees a guided tour of the retail outlet, explaining in detail about the various departments, the nature of different jobs, major challenges faced by the employees and how to overcome them. He also listed out the current vacancies at the outlet for the youth.

The students keenly observed the whole work environment and took note of the system and processes, often asking relevant questions which the Pantaloons team promptly answered.



Health camps for mothers and expecting mothers in Bengaluru

A series of specialized health camps for expecting mothers, mothers and newborns was organised under the Swabhiman programme at the slums of Mayuranagara and Heganahalli in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

The women received ante-natal check-ups and one-on-one counseling sessions, besides preventive and curative health services, and free medicines. Mostly engaged as street peddlers and wage labourers, women in these slums often remain deprived of proper care during and post pregnancies, owing to the nature of their work, poverty, inaccessibility to health care facilities, and widespread illiteracy.

The health camps were led by a team of experts from reputed government and private medical facilities, who were assisted by Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs) and Community Health Educators (CHEs).