Events and happenings
Sehar… Ek Nai Subha
A Musical Journey with King of Gazals – Jagjit Singh

Smile Foundation played host to King of Ghazals Sh. Jagjit Singh at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. The concert named 'Sehar – Ek Nai Subah' (New Day Break) was a musical journey by the maestro where some 2000 supporters of SMILE joined. The concert was dedicated to the benefit of underprivileged youths through SMILE Twin e-Learning project across India.Smile would like to extend its sincere thanks to Sandwood, the presenting partner for this event along with our other sponsors Oriental Bank, Allahbad Bank,         

SRM Entertainment, Pankaj Diamond, Pyarelal & Sons, Ethenic World & Floor & Furnishings. The assistance of Navbharat, Intercontinental Eros, Spicejet, Exchange4media, Graphisads and Business India, was priceless. It was their whole-hearted co-operation which helped the Smile Foundation make this event happen and with such a grand success.

Great Shot
Kirti Azad joins Smile Children, wish Indian team for the World Cup

Smile recently arranged a visit to Dilli Haat for a few children from 'Aadhar' project. The occasion: a special meeting to wish the Indian team ahead of the World Cup, by signing on a large cricket bat! The presence of former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad made the event even more exciting and memorable. Here is what some of those who attended had to say!

Amit:"When I saw Kirti Azad, I was very excited as it was the first time I was meeting a cricketer. We were interviewed by the news channels and I was very happy that I appeared on TV ! I told all my friends who also watched me on TV !"

Manisha:"I was very excited when we reached Dilli Haat. The didi from Smile Foundation was very nice to us. I felt very important when I signed on the cricket bat. Kirti Azad was the second cricketer I have met. I had earlier met Sachin Tendulkar. Kirti Azad ji told us a lot about cricket and he also gave us his autographs."
Seema::" We had gone to wish the Indian team luck. This was the first time I've met a cricketer. I was thrilled. We were asked to introduce ourselves and sign on the bat. We all got a cap and a bat each. We also spoke to the news reporters which was a unique experience."
Health with Smile

Smile Foundation organized a free Gynaecological camp in collaboration with Jain Women Conference at Bhilwara in Rajasthan.

Smt. Kesar Bai Soni Hospital in Shastri Nagar in Bhilwada, Rajasthan was the venue for the camp. Docters from Resham Bai Fertility Hospital, Ahmedabad treated the patients and also carried out the operations. Over 450 women attended the two day camp out of which 68 were operated upon for various gynecological complications.

'Swabhiman' facilitates women empowerment

'Swabhiman' is an exclusive programme of the Smile Foundation dedicated to the girl child. As part of this ongoing effort, a workshop on 'Gender and Safety Awareness' was organized in association with IFFCO at Gurgaon. Wives of 25 IFFCO employees attended the 4-hour workshop that covered such subjects as gender discrimination, safety techniques, emergency measures, interacting with the police, and more.



Another workshop was arranged for women employees of the Delhi Police at the Seelampur Police Station. The 30 attendees participated in a wide ranging interactive discussion on lifestyle management, relationship management, financial security, stress handling, and even delicate issues as domestic violence and crisis negotiations.
Smile for BOSCO spastic inmates

130 inmates of the BOSCO Vikas and Spastics Society of Karnataka were treated to a celebration party organized by Smile, along with sponsors Canara Bank and Prakash Café. Held at the Spastics Society premises at Indiranagar, Bangalore, the programme featured Radio City's Vasanthi Hariprakash who mingled and played with the children. An Autistic Spectrum Disorder unit - part of a special project supported by Smile for children suffering from autism - was also inaugurated on the occasion by Dr H T Sangliana, MP.

Li'l Champs : live on TV !

About 250 excited children from Smile community projects across Maharashtra got a chance to be part of the live audience at the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs musical show on Zee TV ! Famous singers Alka Yagnik and Abhijeet, music director Bappi Lahiri, and ghazal exponent Jagjit Singh met and encouraged the young invitees.

Kite Festival : flying high !

The venue, Dilli Haat. The occasion, a workshop on 'The History of Kite Flying & Kite Making'. The Chief Guest, famous Indipop singer Shibani Kashyap. The participants, about 75 poor children from the city. All the ingredients of an engrossing session where the spirits soared high and imagination took wing!

International Women's Day celebrations

The landmark Day saw leading successful women from various fields come together for a noble cause: to 'teach' 200 neo-literate adolescent girls drawn from 50 communities, NGOs and Government schools across Delhi and the NCR.

The guests included Feroz Gujral, model and socialite; Priti Srivastava, Executive VP, Reliance Industries; and Anjolie Ela Menon, reputed painter. Complementing them were equally well known achievers who have made a mark in their respective professions - and who took the lead in conducting brief sessions for the participants. These included names like Samantha Kochhar, stylist and beautician; Shrividhya Rajaram, Psychologist at the Escorts Heart Institute; Bhavna Barmi, Chief Psychologist at the same Institute; Neeta Malhotra of the Delhi Police's Crime Against Women Cell; and Shikha Sharma, nutritionist and weight management consultant.

Needless to say, the experience left the young girls enriched with knowledge, confidence and self esteem.

Nai Disha, Naya Action !

On Children's Day, students from the Capital's International Management Institute (IMI) spent quality time with the children at two different Smile projects: Nai Disha Free Education Society in Noida, and Action for Autism, New Delhi.

The 500-student strong Nai Disha Society is committed to providing education and healthcare to underprivileged children. Once there, the IMI students went to each class and initiated various interesting fun-filled activities like singing, dancing, caricature and games. The enthusiastic involvement of both visitors and inmates was a treat to watch. Truly, a day that all participants will long remember!

A select group of IMI students likewise visited Open Door, a school for children suffering from the rare Autism disorder. The interaction was arranged under Smile's Action for Autism programme. Performing a series of foot-tapping songs on the centre's lawns, the IMI team really got the children excited and moving - their energy and joy belying their limitations and challenging disability.

But Children's Day celebrations for these autistic children did not end there. They were also taken to visit The Times of India, where Senior Editor Subendu Mukherjee showed them how a newspaper was printed. Later, they visited the studios of Radio Mirchi and Radio City - meeting popular radio jockey Saima and assistant producer Abhishek respectively.
Springboarding women's development !

In partnership with British Council's Springboard programme, Smile organized a chain of 'Capacity Building Workshops for Working Women'. Comprising four workshops, the initiative attracted as many as 40 women professionals from NGOs and Government departments, besides teaching, journalism, medicine and other disciplines.

Designed to enhance skills and knowledge of the participants, the workshops also covered such areas as confidence building, generating self-awareness & motivation, cultivating assertiveness, resolving conflicts, setting goals, managing one's image, and achieving home-work balance.

Dr Kiran Bedi, Director General, Home Guards & Civil Defence, was the Chief Guest and Role Model for the programme. Ms Priti Srivastava, Executive VP of Reliance Industries was the Chief Speakers at one of the workshops.

" There is a night-and-day difference between women having training like this and those not having it. In crises, they are the best people to come out as winners."-- Kiran Bedi

" Keeping good health, time management and self management are the three important things a working woman needs to take care of. Furthermore, there is a mantra in life for a working woman : 'AMA' - Ability, Motivation and Attitude." -- Priti Srivastava  

Boogie Woogie, Smile style !

Sixty children from underprivileged communities served by Smile in Maharashtra went live on Sony TV! They were part of the audience at the popular dance show 'Boogie Woogie' - a programme dedicated to children aged below 15, and compered by the inimitable Naved Jaffrey and Ravi Bahl. In fact, there was applause when Naved proudly announced the Smile team's presence in the studio while also commenting on the inspiring work the Foundation was doing for children education and healthcare.

Differently abled… not disabled !

At Smile, we see disability as a reflection of diversity of ability - not a handicap or medical disorder. In a tribute to this spirit, the Foundation distributed scooties (modified scooters) to a group of such differently abled people in Kanpur, UP. Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Govt of India presided over the function and handed over the keys to the beneficiaries. Organized on 24th September at the Merchant Chamber Hall, the event was attended by a host of dignitaries, including renowned doctor Ramesh Jha, former MLA Mahesh Valmiki and many other distinguished personalities.

'Swabhiman' proudly turns 1 !

'Swabhiman', Smile's programme on women empowerment, celebrated its first anniversary at the Russian Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

The many distinguished guests included personalities who actively support and work for the welfare of the girl child - the likes of actress Manisha Koirala, theatre icon Nadira Babbar, actor Farooque Sheikh and fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore.

The Joint Secretary (Social Defence), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt of India, Shri Narayana Murthy was likewise present. As the Chairman of the Executive Council of the National Institute of Social Defence, Shri Murthy also represented Ms Meira Kumar, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment.

The high point of the evening was the narration of their own experiences by five actual beneficiaries of the 'Swabhiman' programme. These were ordinary community girls who fought and won against gender bias, injustice, harassment and even physical injury… thanks to the orientation, training, support and empowerment they received through 'Swabhiman'. These included individuals like the 14 year old Anju from Kanpur, who lost her right hand in fighting off four molesters; Najma, 28, who successfully stopped the child marriage of a 13 years old girl; and Pooja, 14, who beat back a group of boys out to harass her.

These are just a few of the 4000 girls and women that 'Swabhiman' covered through 50 communities and organizations across the country in the last one year.

In a country that boasts of the world's largest number of professionally qualified women - more doctors, scientists and teachers than even the US - it is ironic that crime and injustice against the fairer sex continues to rise. Which is why efforts like 'Swabhiman' hold a crucial key to development and safeguarding the dignity of the Indian woman.