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Dear Friends,

In an increasingly sceptical world, amid ever-changing realities, identities and values, what remains constant is hope. A mother’s hope for the well-being of her children, a youth’s hope to get his first job, a father’s hope that his child should not sleep hungry at the end of the day, a child’s hope to be able to go to school the next day, every individual’s hope to lead a better life.

This universal currency of hope is what inspires us at Smile Foundation to work every day with renewed zeal, determination and positivity.

As we talk of hope, India stands on a threshold moment today where it has the unprecedented demographic advantage of having 500 million youth forming a majority of its populace. The Cover Story explores the possibilities of tapping the huge potential of the largest youth population in the world by investing in the education, health and training of young people.

In Focus narrates stories of grit, determination and hope of people from different parts of India who are fighting their circumstances every day and winning the battle of survival. Young girls from Delhi slums, plantation workers from Kalimpong and tribal women from Kalahandi have set the wheels of change in motion.

Select achievements, beginnings, challenges, progress from our ground projects make Updates from the Ground a diversified spread. Our Special Feature of this edition announces the launch of the first digital e-learning portal dedicated towards strengthening and empowering grassroots development initiatives.

Civic Driven Change focuses on vital partnerships during the reporting period where members of the civil society – individuals, media, corporate joined hands with us, becoming our support and motivation to achieve what we could.

Hope remains the binding thread behind all these stories as we try to convert every hope into a smile through our journey of change. Smilescapes tries to capture some of the best moments from this journey and we hope you will enjoy revisiting them with us as you leaf through the pages.

Let’s keep spreading smiles!

Sanjeev Dham
COO, Smile Foundation