Smile Foundation was conferred with the ‘Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Award 2014’, presented by ABP News and endorsed by World CSR Day and World Federation of CSR Professional, at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai, India.
The Global CSR Excellence and Leadership Awards recognise outstanding achievements in economic, environmental and social dimensions, by identifying and rewarding exemplary performance by businesses in various aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Anjani Kumar Pandey, Regional Manager – Corporate Partnerships, Mumbai and Minakshi Dey, Chief Manager, Corporate Partnerships, received the Award on behalf of Smile Foundation.
The Awards also provide a platform for corporate leaders and development organizations to come together for a common cause.
A three day workshop was organized in Bangalore under Smile Foundation’s ‘Empowering Grassroots’ initiative for the capacity building of community based organizations. The aim was to enable and equip grassroots organizations to mobilize resources for the sustainability of their projects, programmes and organizations.
The programme witnessed global participation from industry experts, grassroots NGOs and observers. 50 NGOs from countries across the world participated in the workshop.
Speaking at the press conference, Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation, said, “As Smile Foundation acknowledges the noble work being done by community based organizations at the grassroots level to bridge the gap in addressing social issues, we are committed to handhold them in building their capacities to ensure credible delivery and effective resource mobilization.”
In partnership with Wilde Ganzen and taking learning from India and similar economies in the world like Brazil, Kenya and South Africa, Smile Foundation has built capacities of 500 grassroots NGOs in last two years under the ‘Empowering Grassroots’ programme.
Children from Smile Foundation visited the sets of the iconic dance reality show Boogie Woogie in Mumbai and shot for a special episode. The kids were thrilled to meet the show judges Javed Jaffrey, Ravi Behl and Naved Jaffrey, along with the junior dancing stars of the kids’ championship.
The children were received as special guests on the show and had a great time interacting with the judges and watching the performances live.
Boogie Woogie turned up a couple of unexpected surprises for the kids as they also got to meet seasoned Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff on the show, who shares a good rapport with the kids and is a favourite with them.
Bollywood singing sensation Ankit Tiwari was also present on the show and mesmerized the children with his performance so much that Javed Jaffrey requested him for an encore, especially for Smile kids.
Arts Illustrated and Park Hyatt Chennai hosted ‘Ai-Smile’ – a unique Charity Gala in aid of Smile Foundation. Organised in association with Alliance Group and Gatsby, it was an evening of seminal awakenings with affordable art, discerning collectibles, a delectable spread and soul stirring music, all in an effort to empower girl children by raising funds for their education.
The event started with Affordable Art Exhibit showcasing a strong ensemble of women artists such as Anjolie Ela Menon, Seema Kohli, Sujata Achrekar, Tanujaa Rane, Asma Menon, Premalatha, Sheshadri, Benitha Perciyal, Parvathi Nayar, Anamika.V, Razia Tony and Manisha Raju.
An interactive installation by Chennai artist Jacob Jebaraj was a unique element that symbolically reflected the winds of social change that art can enable. The invitees got to tie a red ribbon around the installation pledging their support for girl child education.
Responsible brands Audi, Bluewaters Sports Fishing, Red Earth-Kabini resort, Air France, Toni & Guy, Urban Chakra Spa, Chennai Diamonds, Prestige men’s collection, Club Mahindra, Nerolac-SRK, Alliance Group, besides designers Manish Malhotra, Archana Kochhar, and Salima Lalani, supported the initiative
Smile Foundation in association with Seven Islands HOG (Harley Owners Group) organized a Harley ride to support the cause of children’s education. Termed ‘Miles for Smiles’, the initiative sought to highlight the plight of millions of children forced into child labour and to spread awareness about importance of education amongst the most deserving children.
The event was flagged off from Bandra, Mumbai around 6:00 am. Around 50 Harley owners from the Seven Islands H.O.G. extended their support by riding 100 kms to Lonavala during this event. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the children under Smile Foundation’s Mission Education programme.
Ameya Kapnadak, Assistant Director, Seven Islands H.O.G. Chapter, said, “It is quite ironic, actually. A couple of days from now, the world celebrates the International Labor Day, as a turning point in worker rights. And here in India, we see rampant child labor – right from maids in our homes to farm and factory workers. So we said let’s do our bit to put these kids where they belong – in schools.”
Anaira celebrated her first birthday with a difference by throwing a party for Smile Foundation kids at Kidzania Amusement Park in Mumbai. Over 250 Smile children were part of the celebration.
The kids enjoyed themselves at the Park and got a huge treat complete with cake, snacks and goodies. They had fun doing a lot of role playing where the children played out their dream roles of becoming doctor, engineer, soldier, banker, etc. They also made their own chocolates, donuts and fizzy drinks in the miniature factories.
Anaira’s mother, Snehal, a leading Herbalife distributor, will be supporting the education of more than 200 underprivileged children for a period of three years under Smile Foundation’s Mission Education programme. Hebalife has also been providing nutritional support to 3000 children under the programme for the last three years.
Six CEOs came together at The Leela Palace Bangalore, along with their spouses, to show that ‘Men can Cook.’ They had a special purpose too – to raise support for Smile Foundation’s children in Karnataka.
Suresh Soni from Nova Medical Centres, Suhas Bhide from IBM, Navneet Kapoor from Target, Atul Ujagar from Nike, Anurag Kashyap from MOOG, and Rob Hess from Fidelity Investments joined the fray.
The corporate leaders shared a great rapport with the Smile kids invited there. The children joined each of the CEOs and assisted them during the culinary competition. The panel of judges consisted of The Leela’s Executive Chef Rudolf Eichele, along with Farzana Contractor and Kripal Amanna.
CNBC TV18 had joined hands with The Leela for making the event a success for the benefit of Smile Foundation children. The Upper Crust magazine also lent its support towards the cause.
Dr. Tarita Shankar, Chairperson, Indira Group of Institutes has become the Goodwill Ambassador in Pune to support the cause of educating the girl children. She also celebrated her 50th birthday with Smile Foundation’s children, besides extending her support towards education of 75 girl children for a year.
“Being a woman I understand how much an educated woman contributes towards the growth and development of the society. I am confident that more people will join me in strengthening the cause and spreading smiles among the girl children through the gift of education,” said Dr. Tarita Shankar. Along with Smile Foundation, she aims at designing engagement opportunities where likeminded people can come together and raise awareness and resources for the cause.
Dr. Tarita Shankar holds a Gold Medal in Arts and a Degree in Law. Education is her first love, evidenced by her pioneering effort in building institutions that impart education – from playgroups to post graduation and doctoral studies.
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) 2014 got over within a few hours but its life altering impact continues to reverberate in the improved lives of the beneficiaries long after the event. Smile Foundation, like every year, participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Corporate like State Bank of India, LIC India, Abbott Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. and Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT) participated and ran for Smile Foundation to support the cause of education for underprivileged children.
The SCMM is an opportunity for NGOs to not only build their resource mobilization capacity but also more importantly an opportunity to build and nurture relationships with their supporters. Every year around 38,000 runners take part in the event in various categories.
Employees of supporting corporate along with students from Smile Foundation’s Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) participated in the Marathon and campaigned for the cause of children and youth empowerment through education.
At Smile Foundation’s “Cheering Zone”, young volunteers and music band from Thakur College of Engineering were in full swing and performed a mesmerizing flash mob to cheer all the supporting corporate.
Bollywood celebrity, Ms. Prachi Desai, also supported the cause by cheering at the grand stand.
Michelin Starred celebrity Indian Chef Vikas Khanna has joined hands with Smile Foundation as the Goodwill Ambassador for the latter’s ‘Nutrition for Better Literacy’ initiative. Chef Vikas aims at benefitting 5000 underprivileged children with nutrition support during the year, under Smile Foundation’s Mision Education programme.
Expressing his excitement for his new role, Chef Vikas said, “I am very proud to join hands with Smile Foundation and help make a difference in the lives of children by providing them nutrition for better literacy. While Indian cuisine is going global, malnutrition is on the rise in India. It is unfortunate that three out of ten children in India have stunted growth. Therefore, as ambassador for the cause, I am working towards providing nutrition to 5000 children this year. It’s a small step, a small beginning for a cause that is close to my heart.”
Footballer Robin Singh celebrated the spirit of Indian women in Bangalore, on the eve of International Women’s Day. He joined fifteen spirited girls of Smile Foundation who were striving to make an identity of their own although they had come from difficult backgrounds. All the girls were from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre in Bangalore.
Robin was enthralled to join the cause. “We must enable the women in our society to understand their real worth and equip them with the power of equality. I feel that male involvement is imperative in women empowerment. All these girls symbolize the spirit of ‘living your dream’ as they have got the right platform and support. I wish them the very best and I hope they become a force to reckon with,” said Robin Singh, the ace forward of Bengaluru FC.
After a symbolic cake cutting ceremony, Robin also gifted the girls an autographed football, encouraging them to take up sports
Sandip Soparrkar, ace dancer-choreographer and maestro, invited Smile Foundation children to dance with them during India’s first ‘Dance Week’ – a festival featuring the best dance acts from across the world.
The Dance Week was organised at Phoenix Market City in Mumbai and attended by celebrities and eminent personalities from the film and fashion industry. The event hosted a variety of dance styles, including folk, classical, couples, contemporary, hip hop and Bollywood.
Mr. Soparrkar trained Smile Foundation children and danced with them at the Grand Finale of the Dance Week. The children, who had put in their best efforts for the show, were thrilled to perform in front of the distinguished crowd. Their performance on a specially created fusion track was highly appreciated by the guests.
Smile Foundation showcased the 5th edition of its charity fashion show ‘Ramp for Champs’ at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai. With a special focus on education for girl children, funds raised through Ramp for Champs will be utilized through Smile Foundation’s Mission Education programme.
This edition of Ramp For Champs had a starry line-up of 45 personalities from all walks of life and 17 responsible brands who came together to support the cause of education for underprivileged children.
The ramp line-up included names like Sushmita Sen, Amrita Rao, Chef Vikas Khanna, Monisha Jaisingh, Shweta Pandit, Amrita Arora, Sangram Singh, Payal Rohatgi, Shilpa Saklani Agnihotri, Hasleen Kaur, Rajneesh Duggal, Ramona Arena, Aroona Bhatt, Gajara Kothari, Srishti Arya, Soni Razdan, Shaheen Bhatt, Veena Bakshi, Sophie Premji, VJ Andy, Sarita Madhavan, Dr. Mugdha Raut, Shama Sikander, Deepika Singh, Malvika Raaj, Soumya Tandon, Anita Raj, Krishika Lulla and Evelyn Sharma.
Mesmerizing performances by Shweta Pandit and Sandip Soparrkar added zest to the event.
Ramp for Champs Mumbai 2014 was presented by Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Other valuable partners were I AM Foundation, Nerolac, Reliance, Vatika Group, Indira Group of Institutes, Air France-KLM, Amway, Jean Claude, Estrada, Soapbox, One Stop Makeovers, Chandrakala Sanap, Tellychakkar, ITC Grand Central, Dfashion.tv, Global Advertisers, Coca Cola and Wellness Consultant, Rakhi Pandit.
Bollywood star Sonakshi Sinha, who has lent her voice for the Hindi version of animated movie Rio 2, organized a special screening of the film for Smile Foundation children in Mumbai. In a day full of fun and fiesta, the children had a memorable time and were thrilled to watch the movie along with Sonakshi.
Expressing her happiness, Sonakshi said, “There is no better way to celebrate this moment for me than to be amongst these kids. The kids of Smile Foundation never fail to put the biggest smile on my face. Thank you for making the Rio 2 screening extra special.”
Sonakshi and the children were excited to cut the special cake with Rio 2 theme after which they enjoyed the movie with delicious snacks. Sonakshi also gifted each child with a goody bag. As always, Sonakshi and the kids were inseparable throughout the meet
Bangalore Mirror had conceptualised an initiative named ‘Mirror-4-Joy’ to familiarise its readers with Smile Foundation children and to sensitize them about the larger cause of child development.
More than 300 children from Mission Education programme’s Nava Karnataka centre were invited to St. Antony’s Church, Kaval Byrasandra. From dancing to singing and screaming, the children did it all with much glee and enthusiasm while volunteers and elders played host to them.
A varied mix of students, youth, homemakers and working professionals came from all parts of Bangalore to make it very special for the children. Hosting by MC Abbas; one of Bangalore’s most popular anchors, magic show by magician Karun Krishna, dance performances and lots of singing had the children glued to their seats in rapt attention.
A group of four youth from Mount Carmel Institute of Management had also turned up to sell mugs and glasses they had hand-painted themselves to raise funds for Smile Foundation children.
Employees from MTS, Nokia Siemens and Aircel came forward to join Smile Foundation’s “Be an Angel” campaign and raised need-based support for children under the Mission Education programme. The campaign aimed at sensitizing and mobilizing individuals to take up their social responsibility.
The employees pledged on the “Wish Trees” put up at the different corporate offices and supported the critical needs of children such as stationery, school kits, uniforms and nutrition. Some of them also went ahead to support the education of children for a whole year.
Enthusiastic participation from the employees ensured the success of the campaign and they really became angels in the lives of hundreds of underprivileged kids.
Smile Foundation believes that unless members of the civil society are involved proactively in the process of development, sustainable change will not happen. Following this model of Civic Driven Change, Smile Foundation sensitizes and engages the civil society, making it an active partner in all its welfare initiatives.