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Smile Foundation’s life-cycle approach to development is bettering the lives of women and children across India

The ( Nov 19, 2015)

What happens when a young professional gave up his lucrative corporate job to empower women and bring smiles to the faces of underprivileged children in India

This section on Social Innovation is made possible with the support of Deshpande Foundation India.

Started by a group of young corporate professionals with a vision to give back to the society, Delhi-based Smile Foundation was born in 2002. The NGO reaches out to more than 4,00,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through 158 welfare projects across 25 states of India. Smile Foundation works around four thematic areas such as Education, Healthcare, Youth Employability and Empowerment of women and girls.

Says Santanu Mishra, co-founder and executive trustee of Smile Foundation, “As corporate professionals living in India at a time of economic liberalization, I settled down much earlier in life than expected. I have always wanted to give back to the society. Informal ways of doing charity paved the way for more formal and structured involvement and Smile Foundation took birth.”

For 3 years, Mishra and his team of young professionals lent external support to the NGO. But, along the way, the importance of full-time involvement and deeper commitment was recognised by the team. In 2005, Mishra quit his full-time corporate job and assumed responsibility of running the day-to-day operations of the NGO, re-structuring it to achieve his larger vision. “Since I have always focused on doing creating positive social impact, it was easy not just to leave my own career behind, but to persuade a group of like-minded friends to join in my journey.”

A lifecycle approach to development

The primary objective of Smile Foundation is to improve the well-being of underprivileged children by ensuring their maternal welfare. Mishra explains,

“While education is the cornerstone of children’s progress, children can only go to school regularly when the family, particularly the mother, is healthy and empowered, and the family has decent livelihood opportunities and a steady income.”

Realizing this, Smile Foundation, with its basis in education, adopted a lifecycle approach with intensive programmes focused on family health, livelihood and women empowerment, which address the needs of children, their families and the larger community.

The development initiatives by Smile Foundation are:

Mission Education: Through this national level initiative, Smile Foundation promotes universal education by enabling streamline underprivileged children into mainstream schools in a sustainable manner. More than 2,00,000 children have directly benefited from Mission Education programme since 2002.

The Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) is an employability programme for underprivileged rural and urban youth. The programme aims at creating a pool of young and independent people from marginalized communities through skill enhancement congruous with market requirements. It is an effort towards bridging the gap between demand and supply of skilled manpower in the fast emerging services and retail sectors of modern India. Over 12,000 youth have been trained and have been placed in over 150 brands through 45 operational projects across India.

Smile on Wheels (SoW): A national level mobile hospital programme taking curative, preventive and promotive healthcare to the doorsteps of urban poor and underserved villagers benefiting 3,10,000 lives directly every year through 22 projects in 265 remote villages and urban slums across India.

Swabhiman: The programme focuses on empowerment of on girls and women. It uses the highly effective ‘4 S Model’ which aims to develop healthcare-seeking as a behaviour, build support through education, encourage male involvement and support and sustain change in the community. Over one lakh girls and women have benefited from four intensive operational projects including mobile health clinic, health camps, awareness on reproductive and sexual health issues, scholarship support for secondary and higher education, and community engagement.

Smile Foundation’s Disaster Response Programme was designed to enable quick action and response to the immediate needs of the affected during natural calamities in a sustainable manner that helps them rebuild their lives by facilitating their education, healthcare and livelihood. By way of its relief and rehabilitation projects during the tsunami, the Kashmir earthquake, the Mumbai and Bihar floods, and the Nepal Earthquake, around 1,00,000 affected families have benefitted.

To create awareness among privileged urban dwellers, Smile Foundation introduced its Child for Child programme through which over 6 lakh school children are sensitized to be responsible citizens and participate in the development process.

Mishra said that when they began the journey, the chief lesson they learnt was that development is a slow process where input is not always equal to the output. “Finding the right grassroots NGO partners was tough as was creating a culture among those with resources of giving for development work”, says he.

Good governance is the key to impact and scale

As important as developing society is the process adopted to develop it. With this as its motto, Smile Foundation focuses on being knowledge and technology driven. It designs programmes and deploys the best methodology and technology to help achieve the ideal social return on investment and ensure scale. In order to maintain transparency of process and impact, the Foundation employs the principles of good governance in its management, monitoring, and audit processes, adopting a stringent four-tier audit system to determine the impact of the investment and accountability in utilization of funds.

Smile Foundation has evolved and operates through two different operating models:

A. Social Venture Philanthropy (SVP): This model adapts the successful model of Venture Capital in conventional business to the social and development sector. Under the SVP model, Smile Foundation identifies and partners with suitable grassroots organisations following which it handholds, and builds capacities of genuine grassroots NGOs to achieve accountability, sustainability, scalability, and leadership. The Foundation provides seed money for the launch of new projects and the expansion of old projects. It also emphasizes regular counselling to improve the productivity, enhance the efficiency, and build capacities of grassroots NGOs.

B. Outreach: In its outreach model, Smile Foundation directly implements various development initiatives like Mission Education and Smile on Wheels for underprivileged rural and urban communities by partnering with corporate bodies, PSUs and international development organizations.

On taking the movement forward, Mishra says, “Its relentless efforts have given Smile Foundation the experience and expertise in creating successful development models. We now wish to expand our impact to include underserved communities in across South Asian and African countries. This will also help us continue bringing desirable and sustainable changes in lives of as many people as possible, with the best possible social return on minimum investment as there is always a resource constraint for development work”.


Privacy Policy - Smile Foundation

Information Gathering

1. Smile Foundation collects information from the users in a number of ways, for example when the user:

  • Makes a donation
  • Signs up for a campaign
  • Signs up to stay updated

2. While forwarding a donation for Smile Foundation the well-wishers have to submit some personal information as it would help us ensuring genuine contributions:

  • Your name
  • Your email and mailing address
  • Your telephone number
  • Your payment processing details
  • Any other data as required

3. Smile Foundation does not collect or record the user’s personal information unless he/she chooses to provide it.

Use of Personal Information

1. General browsing of Smile Foundation website is anonymous and it does not register the user’spersonal information except the time, date and place of visits and the name of internet service provider. This data is used only for statistics and diagnosis.

2. By signing up for various services offered by Smile Foundation, the user explicitly authorizes us to collect information based on the user’s usage. The information is used to help provide a better experience to the user and is used as per the user’s specified instructions.

3. Smile Foundation keeps the user information strictly confidential and this information is secured safely. All relevant information collected through Smile Foundation website is handled and used by internal and/or authorized officials only. It is nevershared with any external agencies or third party individuals.

4. Smile Foundation uses the information givento it in the following ways:

  • To keep an accurate record of all the donations received
  • To update users about its happenings and developments through bulletins and newsletters, with an option of not to subscribe for the same
  • To make sure the user is receiving the most appropriate and relevant information
  • To find out more about the people who are visiting the Smile Foundationwebsite, donating, or joining its campaigns

5. Usually, Smile Foundation does not store user data. In case of specific sign-ups, the data is stored as per user request. The user can opt to delete all the information he/she has provided by simply requesting such by mail. All information, without exception, will be deleted in two working days.

Privacy of e-mail lists

Individuals who join Smile Foundation’s mailing lists via its website or through its campaigning engagements are added to its email database. Smile Foundation does not sell, rent, loan, trade, or lease the addresses on our lists to anyone.

Cookie Policy

1. Cookies are pieces of electronic information which will be sent by Smile Foundation when a user visitsthe website. These will be placed in the hard disk of the user’s computer and enable Smile Foundation to recognise the user when he/she visits the website again.

2. The user can configure his/her browser so that it responds to cookies the way he/she deems fit. For example, you make want to accept all cookies, reject them all or get notified when a cookie is sent. The users may check their browser’s settings to modify cookie behaviour as per individual behaviour.

3. If a user disables the use of cookies on the web browser, or removes or rejects specific cookies from Smile Foundation’swebsite or linked sites then he/she may not be able to use the website as it is intended.

Payment Gateway

1. SmileFoundation uses well-recognised and proven technology for payments. Payment information is transferred by the use of an SSL connection which offers the highest degree of security that the donor’s browser is able to support.

2. Several layers of built-in security, including an advanced firewall system, encryption of credit card numbers, and use of passwords, protect the collected information.

External Web Services

1. Smile Foundation uses a number of external web services on its site to display content within its web pages. For example, to display video it uses YouTube. As with the social media buttons, Smile Foundation cannot prevent these sites, or external domains, from collecting information on the user’s consumption of the content embedded on its site.

2. The Smile Foundation website contains links to other websites for the benefit of its visitors. This Privacy Policy does not apply to such other websites.

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.

Changes to Privacy Policy

1. As and when the need arises, Smile Foundation may alter its privacy policy in accordance with the latest technology and trends. It will provide you with timely notice of these changes. The users may reach out to Smile Foundation if they have any queries about any changes made to its practices.

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

Refund and Cancellation Policy

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:-

  • No refund/cancellation for the donated amount by any donor will not be entertained, the online donations through the online payment gateway.
  • No cash or refund of money will be allowed.
  • If any in-kind support received by the donor from any where the material will be reached to the poorest of the poorer communities.
  • Once received the donation for a cause will not be refunded to the donor. No cancellation to be made. The donation will be used for the community development, children education or women’s empowerment.
Terms and Conditions

Use of this site is provided by SMILE FOUNDATION subject to the following Terms and Conditions:

SMILE FOUNDATION reserves the rights to change these terms and conditions at any time by posting changes online. Your continued use of this site after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of this agreement as modified. You agree to use this site only for lawful purposes, and in a manner which does not infringe the rights, or restrict, or inhibit the use and enjoyment of the site by any third party.

This site and the information, names, images, pictures, logos regarding or relating to SMILE FOUNDATION are provided “as is” without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied. In no event will SMILE FOUNDATION be liable for any damages including, without limitation, indirect or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever arising from the use or in connection with such use or loss of use of the site, whether in contract or in negligence.

SMILE FOUNDATION does not warrant that the functions contained in the material contained in this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or bugs or represents the full functionality, accuracy and reliability of the materials.

Copyright restrictions:

Commercial use or publication of all or any item displayed is strictly prohibited without prior authorization from SMILE FOUNDATION. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license by SMILE FOUNDATION to use any item displayed.

Documents may be copied for personal use only on the condition that copyright and source indications are also copied, no modifications are made and the document is copied entirely. However, some documents and photos have been published on this site with the permission of the relevant copyright owners (who are not SMILE FOUNDATION). All rights are reserved on these documents and permission to copy them must be requested from the copyright owners (the sources are indicated within these documents/photographs).

SMILE FOUNDATION takes no responsibility for the content of external Internet sites. Other websites that we link to are owned and operated by third parties and SMILE FOUNDATION has no control over them. The fact that we include links to other websites does not mean that SMILE FOUNDATION approves of or endorses any other third party website or the content of that website. We accept no liability for any statements, information, products or services that are published on or are accessible through any websites owned or operated by third parties.

Any communication or material that you transmit to, or post on, any public area of the site including any data, questions, comments, suggestions, or the like, is, and will be treated as, non-confidential and nonproprietary information. If there is any conflict between these terms and conditions and rules and/or specific terms of use appearing on this site relating to specific material then the latter shall prevail.

These terms and conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of India.

If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, the use of this site must be terminated immediately. SMILE FOUNDATION for Social Welfare Service is a registered at

161 B/4, 3rd Floor, Gulmohar House
Yusuf Sarai Community Centre
New Delhi-110049
Phone : +91-11-43123700

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