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Smile Foundation’s work in education, healthcare and women empowerment is putting a smile on India’s face

Social Story (20 November 2013)

Santanu Mishra, executive trustee and co-founder of Smile Foundation

Traveling around India is both an astonishing, thrilling as well as a disturbing experience. Wherever the road takes you, miles and miles of barren land make it impossible to be unaware of impoverished areas, dysfunctional health centers and elementary schools. Dozens of people in line waiting for water and the intense gender disparity are a grim reminder of the hard fact that India is a country of immense diversity and sharp inequalities. How does one make progress when there are so many issues to be addressed?
Santanu Mishra, executive trustee and co-founder of Smile Foundation

Santanu Mishra, executive trustee and co-founder of Smile Foundation

In 2002, a group of young corporate professionals with a modest small town middle class background realized that it was their responsibility to give back to society. Santanu Mishra went to Delhi along with some friends seeking a job opportunity, and because of the economic liberalization in the 1990s, they reached their financial goals earlier than expected.

“We used to meet and discuss regularly, exchanging our professional experiences. One thing that was common in all our discussions was ‘giving back’. I always wanted to give back to the society once I settled in my life”, remembers Mishra. It was driven by this will that he co-founded Smile Foundation while still working full-time.

But he soon realized that to run the organization on a day to day basis he had to make a choice. “In 2005 I took a calculated risk and I quit my full time job. I began structuring Smile Foundation professionally so that we could achieve a larger vision”, he says.

Smile Foundation’s Mission Education Project Centre in Agartala, Tripura

Smile Foundation is a national level development organization working with a life-cycle approach of development focusing on children, their families and the community, addressing youth employment, women empowerment and healthcare issues. Their core area of intervention, however, is child education: “We truly believe that education is the end as well as the means. However, we realized that a child will never go to school regularly if the family is not taken care of, the mother is not empowered or the family health is not well”, says Mishra.

At the moment the foundation is reaching out to more than 300,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through 158 welfare projects across 25 states of India. Their initiatives include Swabhiman (women empowerment), Smile on Wheels (mobile hospitals), and Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (youth employability) along with Mission Education (child education) as a natural progression.

The Smile on Wheels initiative is a mobile hospital programme aiming to redress the common problems of primary health care

One of the most impactful projects led by Smile is the Child For Child programme, which brings together children from both the backgrounds – affluent and deprived, in an attempt to foster a sense of responsibility in the privileged children towards their less privileged counterparts, early in life. “We believed that there was an urgency to sensitize the privileged children too. If this happpens from an early age, they will grow up as socially responsible citizens”, says Mishra. Last year alone the programme reached to 417 districts of the country, engaging more than 900 schools and sensitized about one million children, along with their parents and teachers.

Girls go through their daily lessons at ME centre in Khora Colony, near Ghaziabad

One of Smile Foundation’s major challenges is the difficulty in finding the right professionals such as doctors, teachers, project managers and community workers to work in remote areas. Also, retaining these professionals, is another major problem as tackling development issues are a serious, long term and complex endeavor. “Next challenge is getting right kind of community based partners. As many of our supporters are corporate, achieving the ‘perfection’ outcome according to their expectation can sometime be a challenge within the ‘imperfection’ at the grassroots level”, informs the Mishra.

With over 350 professional working full-time, from managerial work force to community workers at the grassroots and more than a hundred volunteers and interns, they expect to reach 500,000 people on an annual basis by 2015.


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:

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  • 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.

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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.
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Yusuf Sarai Community Centre
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Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
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Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
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Skill India
Enhancing Formal Skilling


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National Digital Health Mission
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Anaemia Mukt Bharat
Poshan Abhiyan
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