Monsoon Issue - 2014

Smile Foundation

Smile Foundation kids in Bilaspur go "On Air"

All India Radio Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh invited three groups of children from Smile Foundation to its programme ‘AAO BACHCHO’ to share their experience, while also boosting their self confidence and making them feel very special. The children recited poems, sang their favourite songs, cracked jokes and had lots of fun during the radio programme.

All the children were from Mission Education project in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh which has been operational since 2009 and is being implemented with Shikhar Yuva Manch through four operational centres at Ganesh Nagar, Thetha Debris, Nayapara (a centre exclusively for girls) and Indrapuri.

158 children in the age group of 3-18 years are benefitting from the project. Parents of these children make a living mostly as daily wage earners, plying rickshaw or working as mechanics. But with quality education, basic healthcare with health & hygiene practices, grooming and exposure they are gradually becoming confident of creating a brighter and happier future for themselves.

Infrastructural support from CEIL for 3 STeP centres

Certification Engineers International Limited (CEIL) has extended infrastructural support to Smile Foundation’s Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) by providing new computers and furniture as part of its CSR initiative. CEIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Engineers India Limited (EIL), a Govt. of India Undertaking.

The partnership will benefit three STeP centres in the Delhi NCR region. New sets of personal computers with latest OS and TFT screens, printers, UPS, audio systems and other training accessories have been installed at STeP centres in Paschim Vihar, Madangir and Vinod Nagar. New furniture has also been included in the Madangir centre which has been recently established.

STeP is a national level employability programme of Smile Foundation that trains urban underprivileged youth with market-oriented job skills such as English, basic computer, personality development, retail management and relevant soft skills, making them employed in retail and service sectors across India.

CEIL was represented by Mr. V. K. Jain, Senior Advisor and Mr. Nitendra Dekate, Head HR & A, during the dedication functions.

Infrastructural support from CEIL for 3 STeP centres

Bridging the Gap

Students from Sri Shikshayatan School, Kolkata, documented Mission Education Programme’s IPER centre in the city. The students have been regular visitors to the centre and have befriended many younger kids there.

The students interviewed the Director of IPER as well as the Mission Education project coordinator, asking them about the challenges faced while providing education to underprivileged kids.

They also captured ongoing lessons in the classrooms, sports, art and other co-curricular activities at the centre. The teachers shared the special teaching methodology they use to make learning easy and fun for the kids.

The children from the centre were interviewed about their interests and dreams and happily posed for the lens. At the end the Smile kids broke into an impromptu dance and were joined by students from Sri Shikshayatan.

Such interactions between the privileged and underprivileged kids are encouraged by Smile Foundation under its Child for Child programme to sensitize the privileged children towards their disadvantaged counterparts.

Uttarakhand Rehabilitation Programme in full force

Smile Foundation’s ‘Integrated primary healthcare rehabilitation programme’ in Uttarakhand is now well accepted in the identified 24 villages of Ukhimath block in Rudraprayag district. The project includes a mobile health clinic, an equipped static clinic and Smile Health Camps model.

After the cloud burst in Uttarakhand last year, Smile Foundation responded to the urgency with immediate relief and an assessment to devise a long-term strategy to join force with the collective efforts of the government and development agencies. Primary health care has been found to be one of the most urgent areas which needed long term intervention.

The project includes mobile health clinic, medical staff, pathological labs, medicine depots, static clinics with healthcare infrastructure, strengthening and effective utilization of the existing health care facilities, promoting health seeking behaviour etc. The villages are situated at an altitude of 7000 – 11000 feet which has made the situation more challenging for the affected survivors.

The project will benefit 10,000 individual directly every year.

ME kids in Assam get mainstreamed into formal schools

35 odd children got mainstreamed into formal schools from Mission Education’s UTSAH centre at Hafiznagar, in Guwahati, Assam. Their friends and teachers from the centre came together to congratulate the children and celebrate the occasion.

The kids will be joining Chandmari Nimna Buniyadi Vidyalaya and Milanpur Mohammad Shah School in Guwahati. Miguel Queah, founder of UTSAH, felicitated the mainstreamed children.

Most of these children are orphans and runaways or were working as child labour, when they were inducted at the centre. Today, they are each others’ strength and walking firmly on the path of education, to realize their dreams.

Hospitality training for STeP students at JW Mariott Mumbai

J W Marriott Hotel Mumbai played host to a batch of 18 students from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) for an exposure visit, practical training and familiarization trip. These youth had shown interest in joining the hospitality industry after completion of the 6-month STeP programme.

Mr. Khaja Ram and Miss Harsha from JW Marriott welcomed the students with training and motivational sessions, followed by a presentation on the history and work of the hotel at Juhu, Mumbai.

The students were further divided into groups and given a guided orientation on various departments and amenities of the hotel. After these long sessions, the students were invited to have lunch with JW Marriott officials and staff.

JW Marriott also offered the students to appear for interviews, promising three years of on-the-job training with stipends. Group discussions and two rounds of interviews were conducted and five students were selected on the spot to join the premier hotel.

Women and girls cultivate their Garden of Hope

Not-so-easy living conditions, scarcity of water and rented houses could not stop women of Chhatarpur village on the southern fringe of Delhi, from sowing plants and nurturing gardens in their homes. The inspiration came from the initiative “The Garden of Hope and Sowing”, organised by Navdanya Trust, under Smile Foundation’s Swabhiman programme.

The workshop began with seeds being distributed among 40 adolescent girls and women. The participants were made aware about the importance of organic food, followed by a group discussion in which ideas were invited for an ideal garden and interesting topics related to food and community. Thereafter, a sowing session was held, during which the women and girls learnt something new while having fun and strengthening their community bonding.

The women were very interested and curious about the sessions. They also ended the interactive session with another fun activity – by putting their thoughts on paper artistically through drawings and presenting them in groups.

Computer Education at 54 Mission Education centres

Computer Education projects have been set up in 54 select Mission Education programme centres of Smile Foundation. The centres are spread across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra, Jammu and Telangana.

In each of the centres, two new desktops with UPS, one printer cum scanner and other accessories have been installed. Teachers from each centre had already been trained by Smile Foundation as part of 3-day residential training programmes in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and New Delhi.

More than half of Mission Education projects were equipped with computers, but now uniformity has been brought at all centres. This will bring better quality of learning and the children will be aligned with the education system of formal schools after they get mainstreamed.

In many of the remote rural centres, it makes a big difference as children use the latest computers and accessories in augmenting their learning ability, since this also boosts their self confidence.

Health Camp for children and mothers in Madhepura, Bihar

Children and mothers attended a specialized health camp at Pithai village in Madhepura district, Bihar. The series of scheduled camps are in addition to the mobile hospital project operational in the district, with support from Siemens India.

For the health camps, Dr. Mikku Kumar Jha and Dr. Sheema Kumari Jha from the mobile hospital were supported by Dr. Rajeev Kumar. Diagnostic and pathological facilities of the mobile hospital were also made available to the specialized camps.

Families from five nearby villages attended the camp. 97% of the beneficiaries belonged to below poverty line families which also included 48% young mothers and women.

Such complementary health camps are organized regularly under the Smile on Wheels programme to meet the immediate healthcare needs of the marginalized community in remote rural areas and slums, with the belief that adequate awareness, diagnosis and timely care can reduce the incidence of morbidity and mortality, especially among children and women.

Healthcare services for women of Chhatarpur Pahari, Delhi

Aspecialized mega health camp was conducted for children and women in Chhatarpur Pahari on the southern fringe of Delhi under Swabhiman programme. Over 200 beneficiaries availed of the services at the camp.

Access to healthcare is considered to be one of the major components of women empowerment under the programme, which is based on an innovative 4-S model, meaning Seeking healthcare as a behaviour, Support for education, Supporters in men through male involvement, and Sustaining the change in communities.

The specialists for the health camp included a paediatrician and a gynaecologist, accompanied by a team of paramedics, Swabhiman change agents and volunteers. Diagnosis, counselling, medicines and contraceptives were made available for free.

A specialized mobile hospital under Swabhiman caters to children, young mothers and women in all the adopted communities. However, specialized and customized camps are organized regularly keeping in mind the high susceptibility of women and children to health problems.

Inodai Waldorf School kids visit ME centre in Mumbai

Children from the reputed Inodai Waldorf School came to interact with Smile Foundation kids at its Mission Education SHED centre in Mumbai. The initiative was taken by Ms. Hema, the production head for Boogie Woogie, who had met the kids during the show. Feeling an urge to make her daughter familiar with the lives of less privileged children, she arranged a visit for kids from her daughter’s school, Inodai Waldorf, to the centre.

The teachers introduced the students to each other and a prayer was chanted by children from both the schools. A number of fun learning activities were conducted such as poem recitation in different variations, storytelling through a puppet show and a beautiful recitation of the story ‘Manu and the Fish’ by the Inodai kids.

Later in the day, the children took to craft activity in groups and learnt innovative craft techniques like creating designs with fingerprints, art on craft sheets, shapes of fishes and animals.

Volunteer engagement introduced in STeP programme

Anew aspect has been introduced under the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP), in the form of volunteer engagement sessions, where privileged youth from reputed colleges and universities take the onus of adding value to the learning process of their less privileged counterparts inducted at STeP centres across India.

These young dedicated volunteers not only score high with STeP students by bringing a more interactive approach in the classrooms, but being of the same age group, are also able to understand better and resolve the various challenges that the students face.

Innovative techniques, games and puzzles are being used by these volunteers to increase student participation at the STeP centres. Mostly these volunteers help enhance the communication, vocal and interpersonal skills of the students. The volunteers consider this a two way learning process, which also augments their own knowledge and skills.

Smile kids in Ayapakkam village, Tamil Nadu celebrate Pongal

Children from Mission Education’s IUCT centre at Ayapakkam village in Tamil Nadu celebrated Pongal, a festival celebrating the end of the harvest season and dedicated to the agricultural workers. Parents of these children, many of them also coming from the nearby villages of Konambedu, Reddipalayam, Annanur and Narayanapuram, work as small time farmers or vegetable and fish sellers.

Eminent personalities like former Revenue Minister, BV Ramanna; Minister of Minority Welfare, Abdul Rahim; Member of Parliament, P Venugopal; Asst. Registrar – Human Rights Commission, BC Gopinath and faculty from the reputed Mar Gregorios Arts & Science College became part of the celebrations, besides members from the community.

The programme began with the auspicious lighting of the lamp and recitation of the song “Anbe Sivam” by the kids, followed by dance performances by children from the centre as well as volunteers of Mar Gregorios College. The day was wrapped up with a traditional meal being served to the children.

20,000 benefit through mega health camp in Bhilwara, Rajasthan

Smile Foundation’s annual multi-disciplinary free mega health camp at Shahpura in Bhilwara district, Rajasthan entered its 9th year. 20,000 individuals from about 100 villages of Bhilwara benefited directly from the 10-day mega health camp.

The camp had a make-shift hospital with 500 beds. More than 100 specialist doctors and paramedical staff from surgery, ophthalmology, gynaecology, dentistry, orthopaedics, medicine, ENT, anaesthesia, radiology, paediatrics and pathology provided voluntary service at the camp.

Local doctors and Govt. of Rajasthan’s Mobile Surgical Unit also added strength to the endeavour like every year. Volunteers from Sadbhavana Seva Trust and Jain Conference, which also included hundreds of housewives, rendered selfless services during the annual mega health event in the region.

Mega Smile Health Camps provide free diagnosis, medicines, food, accommodation and surgical care through make-shift hospital environs by dedicated teams of medical experts. These are instrumental in offering a wide range of medical services to communities residing in remote rural and tribal areas.

Children and women lead the change in Ashoknagar, MP

Six months into operation, the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project initiated in 20 villages of Chanderi block in Ashokanagar district, Madhya Pradesh, has began showing encouraging results.

Children along with women are leading in seeking healthcare services, besides promoting it. Women form 56% of the total beneficiaries who came forward and received the services at their doorsteps. Health talks and school health programmes are carried out regularly to increase awareness about health related issues. School children have taken up the responsibility to spread the word and are taking out rallies in the all the villages, mouthing slogans like “Jan jan ki yahi pukar – Swastha rahe ghar parivar”.

None of the households has toilets. Besides sanitation and hygiene issues, cases of severe malnutrition among children have been observed. Special interventions on model hygiene practices and remedies for child malnutrition have been launched in 11 villages, which will be replicated in all the villages gradually.

Anti-child labour campaign in West India

On the eve of World Labour Day, privileged children and volunteers came out in large numbers to take part in a multi-city public awareness campaign and draw attention to the issue of ‘lost childhood’. The campaign titled ‘Say NO to child labour, say YES to school’ was conducted at Bhavnagar in Gujarat, Panaji in Goa, and Mumbai and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Statistics reveal that India has 17 million child workers, the highest in the world owing to poverty, lack of equipped schools and growth of informal economy. Lack of awareness about the basic rights of a child leads to easy violation of laws meant to protect and empower children.

Smile Foundation strongly believes that there is no better tool than education to end child labour in the country and works towards providing basic education to the less privileged children while also creating awareness about the vulnerability of underprivileged children in our society through such sensitization campaigns.

School children in Uttarakhand adopt health-seeking behaviour

School Health programme has now been initiated under the Integrated Primary Healthcare Rehabilitation project which was started in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand last year, with support from Union Bank Social Foundation Trust, the philanthropic arm of the Union Bank of India.

Covering 23 villages in the Ukimath block, the project aims to provide long-term health services to children and families affected during the 2013 floods, at their doorstep.

The School Health programme aims at building a healthy next generation and helping the change sustain in the community by sensitizing the school going children to the importance of health and hygiene. Sessions on topics like personal hygiene, routine healthy habits and proper hand washing techniques are being held for the children, using engaging posters, documentaries and activities.

Besides spreading awareness on vital health issues among the community, the comprehensive project also includes a mobile healthcare unit, trained medical staff, pathological labs, medicine depots, static clinics and strengthening and effective utilization of the existing healthcare facilities.

Participatory Parents Teacher Meeting in Burdwan

Parents took part in group discussions, games and interactive activities during the Parents Teacher meeting at Mission Education programme’s Serve centre in Ranisayer village, Burdwan district, West Bengal.

More than 80 parents were part of the meeting which went much beyond the routine discussion of children’s academic performance. The parents were invited to be a part of their child’s learning process and their feedback was taken on the teaching methodologies used at the centre. They also gave their inputs for preparing new teaching learning material for the children.

The parents appreciated the initiative and promised to take active part in their child’s education. Most of the parents have never been to school themselves and make both ends meet by pulling rickshaws, working as wage earners or make a living as small-time farmers. But today they are happy to learn from their children.

Value Education workshops in schools across India

The Value Education workshops being conducted under Smile Foundation’s Child for Child (CFC) programme are being highly principals and parents from schools across India.

Children and teachers now take the lead and actively participate in the workshops, coming forward to share their views about and experiences with the underprivileged sections of society and volunteering to contribute their time, knowledge and resources for their welfare.

Reputed schools and educational institutions from Phagwara (Punjab); Chennai (Tamil Nadu); Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai (Maharashtra); Goa; Jabalpur, Jhirpa, Sausar and Pachmarhi (MP); Allahabad and Meerut (UP); Raipur (Chhattisgarh); Bangalore (Karnataka); Jamshedpur (Jharkhand); Baroda and Amreli (Gujarat) invited Smile Foundation to conduct the Value Education workshops.

Smile Foundation visits various privileged schools across India and conducts engaging sessions for the young minds, under CFC programme. Children are sensitized to various causes and value systems and are ushered to realize the importance of growing up as responsible citizens of the country.

Swabhiman Scholars on an exposure visit in Delhi

It was a day-out and exposure visit for 47 Swabhiman Scholars, accompanied by their mentors namely, five Community Health Educators (CHEs) and 12 Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs).

“These 47 meritorious girls are also role models for younger children in their communities. They have been awarded scholarships by Smile Foundation after they completed their primary education with excellence, despite coming from difficult social and economic circumstances. They are either in high schools or colleges and have been receiving the scholarships for three years for now,” says Ms. Pooja Rani, Smile Foundation’s Programme Officer, Swabhiman.

The Swabhiman Scholars visited the National Science Centre, Red Fort and India Gate in New Delhi as part of the regular exposure programme. Curious and eager to learn new things, the girls were full of enthusiasm during the visit and flooded the CHEs and SHVs with questions, which were all patiently answered.

Community adopts Smile on Wheels project in Mumbai

People from the community have now started taking ownership of the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project in Mumbai. This has been made possible by the intensive community mobilization activities, awareness sessions and meetings being conducted with focus on promoting a health seeking behaviour among the people.

Engaging sessions on personal hygiene, cleanliness and healthy eating have now been extended from school children to their mothers, senior citizens and other members from the community. The aim is to spread awareness on the importance of health, so that the benefits stay in the community for a long time. Public representatives, social workers and community members are roped in to encourage people to avail the services.

Equipped with the latest medical equipments and competent medical staff comprising of project coordinator, Doctor, Lab technician, Nurse, Community Mobilizer and a driver, the project provides doorstep preventive and curative healthcare services in the slum clusters of Andheri, Malwani, Kalina, Vakhola, Dindoshi, Khardanda, Behramnagar Khar, Hanuman Takeri and Film City, with support from Shakuntalam Charitable Foundation

Stress busting workshop for Smile children in Bangalore

A motivational and stress-busting workshop was conducted for children of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre Sukrupa in Bangalore, Karnataka. Dr. Geetha Patil and Dr. Preethi Galgali talked to the children about the different problems they face in their everyday lives and how to deal with these issues in a positive way.

The workshop was designed in a way that the children had a lot of fun while learning. It was made interactive through games, quizzes and question answer sessions. The trainers advised the children to share their problems with their parents and teachers without hesitation. The teachers at the centre were also guided to identify the children who are under stress and help them accordingly.

Such sessions are important for these children as most of them have faced difficult situations very early in life. The children are nurtured in a loving and caring environment at the Mission Education centre and such sessions with professionals are regularly conducted to ensure their mental and emotional well being.

STeP centre in Budge Budge initiates career guidance for youth

A positive trend has been set up by the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Bitan, in the slum clusters of Budge Budge, Kolkata. Youth from the marginalized community in the region are now on their way to getting proper career guidance and counselling sessions, so that they can make the right start to their career.

There was a realization that many youth even after proper education and training in computers, communication and soft skills were unable to get placed, or sustain their jobs.
The centre now holds a week long career orientation session for every fresh badge and helps them assess their interest and aptitude, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and make an informed career choice.

The initiative has shown success as 15 students have already been placed from the current badge at good positions. Taking note, the local authorities, schools and parents have also requested the centre to hold career guidance sessions for high school students from the community.

Health camps for marginalized population in Delhi NCR

Three multi-specialty Smile Health Camps were organized at Shashi Garden and Mansarovar Park in Delhi, and Rajiv Nagar in Gurgaon, Haryana, with support from Blackrock. The camps focused particularly on the homeless communities, daily wage labourers and migrant population living in these areas, specially the children and mothers.

General physician Dr. Anand Lodhi, Paediatrician Dr. Visjal Deep, and Gynaecologist Dr. Blessing Jha were assisted by a team of lab technician, pharmacist, Smile Foundation’s community mobilisers, project team and volunteers from BlackRock who rendered their services towards the smooth functioning of the camp.

The Smile on Wheels mobile hospital, which operates in the eastern and northern fringes of Delhi in association with St. Stephen’s Hospital, was also made available during the camp.

327 children, 422 women and 125 men benefitted from the health camps.

Smile Health Camps provide healthcare services to meet the immediate needs of the marginalized community in remote rural areas and urban slums through standalone camps, offering comprehensive health services – curative, preventive, promotive and referral.

Vaccination Camps for Smile children in Khora Colony

A series of vaccination camps was conducted for children from Smile Foundation’s all-girls Mission Education centre Raasta at Khora Colony, near Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. The camps with focus on holistic health activities of both children and their mothers were conducted in association with the Max Hospital.

96 girl children benefitted from the camps as 78 received MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination and another 18 received Typhoid vaccination. Also Vitamin D and De-worming tablets were distributed among students, with instructions to the mothers.

A special health camp was later organised for the mothers of the children enrolled at the centre. A total of 42 women received complete medical check-ups by a team of five medical professionals led by Dr. Sonika (MBBS). Three women were referred to the Max Hospital for further treatment where they received free medical benefits.

Periodic growth monitoring and health check-ups, along with quarterly health camps for children are a regular feature of all Mission Education centres.

Bridging the gap for school children at Paradsingha, MP

School shoes and sandals were distributed to 500 children from a government school in Paradsingha village, Madhya Pradesh, under Smile Foundation’s Child for Child (CFC) programme.

The children, determined to get an education, had been coming to school barefooted as they could not afford shoes. Many a times they would get injured, or develop sores in their feet. They had also become vulnerable to skin diseases and infections.

CFC representative Jitendra Deshmukh explained to the children how wearing shoes and keeping their feet clean was very important for maintaining their personal hygiene. The children were delighted to get the shoes and promised to dress up neatly for school and practice healthy habits in their daily lives.

School principal Ms. Rita Tandya and In-charge Mr. Chandraprakash Rangare were present, along with all the teachers, during the distribution ceremony.

Workshop on reproductive health for women in Hegganahalli

Smile Foundation, under its Swabhiman programme, conducted a workshop on reproductive health and hygiene for women that included the relevance of personal hygiene in daily life and awareness about good touch and bad touch for young girls at Hegganahalli in Bangalore rural district of Karnataka.

Mrs. Udayakumari, a faculty from Karnataka State Council for Child Welfare, joined the Swabhiman team in conducting the workshop. Interacting with the beneficiaries on the importance of health and hygiene in a woman’s life, Mrs. Udayakumari focused on adopting routine habits that can help.

The younger girls were educated about the physical changes that take place in an adolescent girl’s body and how they should deal with the same. At the end, the beneficiaries were engaged in various activities to demonstrate their understanding on the topic.

The training programme turned out to be extremely informative and beneficial for the participants who had earlier hesitated to talk about these issues, but are now confident enough to discuss the issues among their peer group.

Campus selection by Dunkin Donuts at Kamathipura STeP centre

Dunkin’ Donuts, the global doughnut and coffeehouse brand, visited Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Prayog at Kamathipura, Mumbai, for a ‘campus selection.’ After the selection procedures four youth opted for joining the company, thereby by becoming the first generation white-collar workers, taking the first step towards a dignified future ahead.

The Dunkin’ Donuts team was led by Ms. Sweta Kakate from HR, accompanied by the store manager.
The Dunkin’s Donuts team gave a brief presentation about the company, followed by a detailed introduction to various products they make. The company’s policy and culture were also presented to the STeP students.

The Kamathipura STeP centre is operational for four years now and a majority of the beneficiaries are girls, with many of them raised by single parents (mothers).

Later the team from Dunkin Donuts also conducted similar session at STEP centres in Goregaon and Dharavi, selecting 19 more students to join the company.

Joyful Learning introduced for Smile children in Hyderabad

Learning has become synonymous with fun for children at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre Arunodaya Trust, at Hyderabad in Telangana. Joyful learning methods, e-learning groups and alternative assessment methods have been introduced by the teachers at the centre, to help create interest and keep the children fully engaged in the classroom.

Realizing that many children being first generation learners were having difficulty in coping up with their studies, the teachers started looking for ways to make lessons easy and fun for the kids.

“We started doing research, making individual lesson plans and then sharing the children’s response with each other. Smile Foundation’s teacher training programme was very helpful. Now we stay updated with relevant journals and websites and keep innovating to address the diverse abilities and interests of our children”, says Ms. Vijay Nagrani, one of the teachers who initiated the change.

Smile kids in Mumbai win prizes at UDAAN 2014

Four children from Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre SHED in Mumbai, Maharashtra, won prizes in UDAAN – 2014, an Inter NGO Forum, conducted by the prestigious Government Law College. UDAAN gives an opportunity every year to children from various NGOs to display their talents in fields such as music, dance, acting and art.

The competition had been preceded by a selection process, where five children from the centre were selected to participate in the final event. The children won two golds, one silver and one bronze medal for their good show.

The Government Law College and UDAAN – 2014 also felicitated Smile Foundation with the Best NGO award.

The Government Law College, Mumbai, founded in 1855, is the oldest law school in Asia and one of the most distinguished in India. Historical figures like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Justice M. C. Chagla, Nani Palkhivala and several others who have adorned benches of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court, have been part of the institution.

College students conduct workshops for community girls

A special series of 3-day workshop on personal hygiene for adolescent girls was conducted in the identified communities across South, South-East and East Delhi that have been adopted under Swabhiman programme.

Young college students, guided by Swabhiman change agents and subject experts, volunteered for the workshops wherein they interacted with and formed a bond with the community girls. As these students brought with them their own diverse learning and experiences, they added value to the workshop, making it more effective.

Topics covered during the workshop included general health & hygiene, menstrual hygiene, self defence, and personal hygiene. Personal hygiene packs were distributed at the end of each community workshop.

Swabhiman, meaning self-respect in English, is Smile Foundation’s empowerment programme focusing on girl children and women. Swabhiman was initiated in the year 2005.

STeP trainees in Pune attend Personality Development Workshop

Personality Development Workshop was conducted for the girl students of Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Green Tara at Vishrantwadi in Pune, Maharashtra. The objective of the workshop was to enhance the self confidence of the trainees and equip them well for the job interviews they will be facing after the completion of their STeP course.

Professor Jyotika Vale and Dr. Manda Mune facilitated the two-hour session, which covered aspects like communication skills, smart dressing, positive attitude and behavioural training, time management and presentation. The workshop was made interactive and engaging through frequent discussions and question answer rounds, along with several role play activities.

All the girls participated promptly and found the workshop very useful.

Such customized sessions along with regular classes are interspersed with employment engagement programmes, industry exposure visits and volunteer engagement sessions under STeP, to ensure that the youth trainees are in sync with the needs and trends of the dynamic job market.

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