H ealth Camps work as an immediate solution while addressing continued health issues in remote rural areas. Sometimes healthcare services are either out of reach or a “health-seeking behaviour” is below average in such areas.
A series of five intensive health camps were conducted in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu. Curative, preventive and promotive services were made available to 1250 people based on their health profiles.
The Mobile Hospital approach under ‘Smile on Wheels’ is the other health delivery model of Smile Foundation which takes specialized services to an identified cluster of unreached villages or urban slums in an area.
Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) supported Smile Foundation for the first series of tailor-made health camps in Nagapattinam.
A three-day ‘Training of Trainers’ programme was conducted in New Delhi under Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP). Titled ‘English & Information Technology,’ the session focused on augmenting teaching and training skills on both the above mentioned subjects.
Three resource persons each for English and IT conducted the programme wherein 19 English trainers and 17 IT trainers from select STeP centres across India participated.
The training programme was organized with support from Wilde Ganzen.
Smile Foundation conducts training and capacity building programmes for teachers and trainers regularly to keep them updated with latest developments in their knowledge and skill areas and help them develop effective pedagogical techniques
Mission Education centre run by Sparsh Charitable Trust in Mumbai, organized an innovative programme to involve the community in the development of underprivileged children studying at the centre.
Called ‘Humanity Hub’, the initiative focused at inculcating a responsible behaviour in privileged youth towards the less privileged children. 15 volunteers and 50 children from the centre were part of the interactive activities during the programme. The volunteers also served a traditional Gujarati Thali to all the children.
The volunteers pledged to support the kids for a whole year by actively organizing classes and lessons for them and also gifting them collections of stories and poems. Smile Foundation believes in engaging the civil society to be an active participant in the process of development.
Aanchal, 11 and class IV student, was elected Prime Minister and Maya Kumari, 13 and class VIII student, became Deputy Prime Minister of the Bal Sansad (Children’s Parliament) at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in Patna, Bihar.
Other ministers include Ministers for Drinking Water, Arts, Sanitation, Health, Tree Plantation, Sports, Discipline and Education. A total of 96 children were candidates for the election fray.
The idea of Bal Sansad was adopted to help the children develop a basic understanding of parliamentary procedures. This was also meant to instill democratic values, tolerance and a sense of achievement in the kids.
The election procedure was hectic with innovative methods like role play and dramatization being used. Peer groups organized mock rallies at the classroom level and all the children from the youngest to the oldest participated with zeal and enthusiasm.
Seven multi-specialty health camps were organized at villages Kagau, Bhedana, Sindaswa Harniyan, Sada, Bhakarpur, Aadel and Ratanpura, in Barmer district of Rajasthan.
The camps were inaugurated by the respective Village Sarpanch and officials from Cairn India in the presence of government health officials like ASHA, ANM and AWW workers and other stakeholders from the community including school teachers, panchayat members and patwaris.
General physicians, along with a panel of specialists including paediatrician, gynaecologist, dentist, orthopedic and surgeon, facilitated the camps. Besides providing curative healthcare, awareness was spread on important social and health issues through engaging activities like puppet shows and folk dance and drama.
More than 2200 people availed of the services at the health camps.
Smile Foundation also operates three Smile on Wheels covering 41 remote villages in Barmer district, which have benefitted more than 50,000 people so far.
A training session was organized for Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs) and Community Health Educators (CHEs), on STI/RTI, HIV AIDS and menstrual hygiene and its relevance for adolescent girls and women in Delhi.
Shabista Khan, from Parivar Sewa Sansthan, conducted the workshop, which was attended by 27 SHVs and CHEs. During the workshop, Shabista discussed about puberty with the SHVs informing them about the physical changes that take place in an adolescent girl’s body. At the end, the SHVs did role plays in groups to demonstrate their understanding on the topic.
An animated movie was shown to introduce STI/RTI to the volunteers, which was followed by another round of role plays. The training turned out to be extremely informative and beneficial for the volunteers who had earlier hesitated to talk about these issues, but are now willing to spread the knowledge in their community.
Smile Foundation launched its mobile hospital programme Smile on Wheels in Mumbai, with the support of Shakuntalam Charitable Foundation.
With specific focus on children and women, the project is taking curative, preventive and promotive healthcare services to the doorsteps of people in the areas of Andheri, Malwani, Kalina, Vakhola, Dindoshi, Khardanda, Behramnagar Khar, Hanuman Takeri and Film City. It is expected to benefit 10,000 people directly by the year end.
Bollywood actor Sonakshi Sinha flagged off the project saying, “Smile on Wheels mobile hospital has proved to be a beautiful Diwali gift for the deserving communities in Mumbai bringing good health, survival and hope. I applaude the efforts of Smile Foundation for bringing best possible healthcare to the doorsteps of those who need it the most in the city of Mumbai.”
Sonakshi was accompanied by Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, COO, Smile Foundation and Mr. Shyamashis Bhattacharya, Trustee, Shakuntalam Charitable Foundation.
Mission Education centre Nava Karnataka, in Bangalore, has introduced digital classes to help the students learn in a more fun and interesting way. The classes are intended not as a replacement of, but rather as complementary to the regular lessons.
The classes will be held on alternate days for Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and English and will cover special topics in these subjects. Over 120 students from Class VI to Class VIII will benefit from these digitally enabled classes.
“Kids are finding it easier to grab things during these sessions, specially understanding diagrams and experiments through animated drawings and videos”, said the Science teacher from the centre.
Villagers in Bablikheda village, Guna district, MP were asked to take lead in planning a health camp under Smile Foundation’s ‘Integrated Education and Health Project.’ A meeting was held with 29 villagers on how, when and where to conduct the camp. Many other villagers were asked to volunteer during the camp.
The local administration and media were asked to support the initiative so that maximum people could benefit from it. The ICDS worker, CDPO and block coordinator, GAIL officials and public representatives were part of the community driven one-day camp.
238 people, from newborns to octogenarians, benefited from the health camp where cases ranged from malnutrition, skin infection and chronic fever to expecting mothers.
“More than anything else, it was inspiring to see the villagers take a lead enthusiastically. When everybody becomes an equal and active partner – community, local government and us – the result is beyond belief,” says Dr. Santosh Bhargava, Smile Foundation’s Project Officer in Guna.
An interactive workshop cum awareness session on Immunization and Vaccination was conducted in November, at Mochi Colony, Sundernagari; one of the largest resettlement colonies in Northeast Delhi.
The area is under the coverage of Smile on Wheels mobile hospital programme. However, creating awareness and health seeking behaviour is equally important with taking healthcare to the doorsteps so that people avail of the health services properly.
Street plays were conducted in order to create awareness about the importance of vaccination and the preventive measures that should be taken for different diseases like polio, TB, measles, yellow fever etc. The beneficiaries were also distributed hand bills regarding information of vaccination according to age.
Children from Mission Education Centre Hriday, at Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, gave a special tribute to their teachers, through a cultural programme on Teachers’ Day. Specially prepared song and dance recitals by the students made the programme memorable for the teachers.
The highlight of the show was a play presented by the kids on the importance of education. More than 700 people from the community gathered at the school premises, to support and encourage the children to perform better.
Mr. Prakash Das, councillor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation was the chief guest at the programme, which was highly appreciated by the community people and the local media.
Commandant, 53 Armoured Regiment, Indian Army presented a certificate of appreciation to Smile Foundation in Barmer. Project Coordinators Mr. Moolchand Kheechee and Mr. Sanjay Thakar received the certificate.
“Commandant and All Ranks of ‘The 53 Falcons’ recognise Smile Foundation for rendering support and welfare assistance for veterans and ‘veer naris’ of the Armed Force. The Regiment places on record its deepest appreciation and profound thanks,” says the official citation.
Smile Foundation is operating three Smile on Wheels mobile hospital projects in the border district of Barmer in Rajasthan, with support from Cairn India. Barmer is one of the country’s 250 most backward districts and the average distance to the nearest community health centre is 24kms.
A section of the beneficiaries belonged to Ex-servicemen and veterans. As a courteous gesture and encouragement, the 53 Armoured Regiment invited Smile Foundation project coordinators and presented the token of appreciation.
Youth from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) in Bengaluru, Karnataka went on a visit to the Gopala Mall in Bengaluru. The day long exposure visit began with a glance around the mall, discussions with floor and store managers on how to handle customers and practical sessions on retail management.
They also gained an insight about the work culture and various challenges they might face at the work place.
The students will soon be joining various retail and service sector companies at the end of the 6-month training programme under STeP. Such visits are an integral part of STeP as practical exposure to the market scenario gives the youth an extra edge.
A day long workshop was conducted on nutrition and healthy eating for adolescent girls and pregnant women, on November 12.
The workshop was attended by 30 Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs) and 4 Community Health Educators (CHEs). Identified from within the community, these volunteers form an important link in promoting and sustaining health-seeking behaviour in the communities.
Sangeeta Raj, consulting dietician with hospitals like Apollo and Deepak Memorial, conducted the workshop at Smile Foundation’s office in Delhi. A pre-assessment session was followed by a rigorous interactive activity on eating patterns of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women. A few easy-to-make recipes for a healthy and balanced meal were also shared during the session.
The Smile on Wheels team providing services in Chanderi block, Ashoknagar, MP, made an emergency visit to Khera village to provide urgent services as diarrhea cases started increasing rapidly in the village. Though Khera village is out of the coverage area of the project, the team rushed with medicines and injections to Khera in the middle of the night, to address the critical situation.
One death and two serious cases had already been reported when the Smile on Wheels team reached Khera. As no health facility is available in the village, there was no trained medical professional to take care of the over 200 affected people.
The team got in action and started treating the patients and distributing ORS pouches. 100 OPDs were conducted and 4 serious patients were referred to the nearest CHC for further treatment.
The team’s efforts were appreciated by Dr. Sikandhar Singh, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Chanderi, who visited Khera the next day.
A Mission Education project was inaugurated at Dhobaru Ranisayer, PO Trilokchandrapur in Burdwan (Bardhaman) district, West Bengal. The project, being implemented in association with SERVE (Socio Economic Reforms by Voluntary Efforts) will cater to children from Faraki Danga, Andhar Suli and Dhobaru Ranisayer villages.
Children from tribal and socially marginalised communities are getting priority in receiving education and healthcare at the centre and many of them have become first generation learners in their families. A child friendly environment is being created. The centre has also been also been equipped with facilities such as computer education and latest teaching & learning methods.
The villages are located amidst dense forest and the nearest primary school is 4 kilometres away. Initially 150 out-of-school children have been inducted into this new Mission Education centre.
Crompton Greaves Limited partnered with Smile Foundation to implement a series of health initiatives in Chennai and Hyderabad. An AIDS Awareness Campaign was conducted on World AIDS Day in both the cities, which saw enthusiastic participation and debate from the young and the old.
A Diabetes Health Camp was also organized for the underprivileged, in association with a Mission Education centre in Hyderabad. Children from the centre, their parents and others from the community availed of the services at the health camp. Besides providing medical services, the camp was intended to spread awareness about the causes, preventive measures and cures of diabetes.
Crompton Greaves will also be extending support for libraries at two Mission Education centres in South India under the partnership.
Students from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) at SHED in Mahakalai, Mumbai went on an exposure visit to Amway’s Andheri office in December. The students got a practical orientation on payment counter, product storage, training centre, treatment centre and other facilities.
Ms. Anju from Amway India (HR) oriented the students about the facilities and functions. Mr. Arjeet Som, Associate Manager, Business Development, Amway took a training session on ‘business skills’, followed by a presentation.
Very soon, after completion of their six month STeP course, the youth will seek employment in retail, hospitality and service sector organisations. Industry exposure visits are part of the STeP curriculum which helps them become market ready.
The practice of hand washing can prevent 80% of illnesses among children. This is one of the things taught during the health education programme at Mission Education’s JUST centre at Damdamia, in Tripura. The children are also taught the right technique of hand washing and brushing their teeth.
The habits of good hygiene can help prevent most of the communicable diseases like diarrhoea, worm infestations and many skin diseases. Prevention of such sickness is also important to ensure regular attendance of the students.
The kids’ mothers had already been sensitized about healthy habits during parent teacher meetings; convincing the children about the benefits has helped them cooperate with their parents.
The children now insist on collecting their tooth brushes, tooth paste and soaps from the centre as they like to be ‘clean and smart,’ and do not like to ‘fall sick.’
The Smile on Wheels programme has been initiated in the Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh. The project was formally inaugurated at a ceremony in Kadbaya village.
The Union Minister of State for Power, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, flagged off the mobile hospital project and handed over the key to the community people in a symbolic gesture. More than 5000 people were part of the inauguration ceremony, including senior officials from Smile Foundation and REC.
Smile on Wheels Ashoknagar is supported by the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) and aimed at providing promotive, preventive and curative healthcare services to the underprivileged populace in the district, at their doorstep. Currently, the project is covering 20 villages of the Chanderi block, reaching out to a population of over 25,000.
Youth from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme’s (STeP) PREM centre in Puri, Odisha went on an exposure visit to Narayan Marine Tech Pvt. Ltd. They were divided into groups according to their choice of careers and given practical exposure cum training on hotel management, food processing, garment export and hospitality.
Mr. Tuhin Choudhury, Chief Manager of the conglomerate personally supervised the training cum exposure programme, besides collecting information on STeP and the students.
Across India, STeP students partook in 32 corporate engagement programmes and 28 pre-employment industry exposure visits in the last one year.
So far 13,750 youth from deserving backgrounds have successfully received employability training at STeP centres across India, 47 % of them being girls.
A series of awareness sessions on health issues were conducted at villages Bhakharpura and Aadel in Barmer, Rajasthan, through interesting and engaging activities like folk songs, folk dance, drama and puppet show.
The sessions, facilitated by a team of local folk artists, focused on the symptoms and preventive measures of seasonal diseases like common cold and viral fever, as also on vital issues like institutional delivery, immunization, newborn care and personal hygiene.
Spreading awareness about health issues and promoting a sustainable health-seeking behaviour in the community is a significant aspect of the Smile on Wheels programme. Over 200 people benefitted through these awareness sessions.
An interactive workshop on reproductive and child health was organized for women of Shashi Garden resettlement colony in Delhi. It focused on significant issues like maternal health, safe delivery, breast feeding, immunization, ante natal and post natal care.
Women ensure wellbeing of not only the present generation but also the coming generation, but their own health is rarely taken care of. Poverty, coupled with lack of education and awareness about health issues make their situation worse.
Swabhiman addresses this gap by empowering women with adequate knowledge on issues vital for women and child healthcare.
The workshop was conducted by Ms. Manisha Pal, Professor, Delhi University and an expert on women healthcare. Charts, demonstrations, documentaries and slide shows were used to make the session interesting and engaging for the sixty plus beneficiaries, in the age group of 18-65 years.
Kids from Mission Education centre in West Bengal, being run by Sabuj Sangha, participated in the Quiz Competition conducted every year by the centre. Eminent people from the community were invited as judges at the competition.
The Quiz Competition tested the students’ knowledge in varied subjects like literature, cinema, music, science, English, mathematics and general knowledge. The community people were impressed with the knowledge and confidence of the children and applauded them. The competition was also intended to sensitize the local community about the importance of education.
The centre provides primary education to vulnerable and marginalized children living in squatter slum colonies on the fringes of Kolkata.
All the children in Chainpura village of Guna district, Madhya Pradesh, joined Mission Education programme in February this year. The mothers, majority of whom had never been to school, demanded that they would need to learn how to write and read. Thus came up the special centre for them.
The news spread to the neighbouring village of Bhumlakhedi, where the mothers asked for a similar programme. Currently, the second centre caters to about 30 women. There are no fixed timings as these women try to juggle farm work and household responsibilities. It has begun with basic language skills in Hindi and English and simple Mathematics through a specially formulated lesson plan.
The centre has brought about an improvement in the functional literacy level among the women as they can now read and write Hindi and English alphabets and do counting of numbers.
In the aftermath of the disaster in Uttarakhand which caused uncountable loss of lives, personal property and public infrastructure, Smile Foundation has undertaken a Post Disaster Rehabilitation Project in the flood affected areas, with support from Union Bank of India.
Realizing the need for a long-term strategy to address the healthcare needs of the affected survivors, a health-based rehabilitation programme has been designed to provide free health services to people from 24 villages in Ukimath block.
The interventions include a mobile hospital unit, pathological labs, medicine depots, static clinics with proper infrastructure, strengthening and effective utilization of the existing healthcare facilities and promoting a health seeking behaviour.
“We are thankful for the urgency shown by Smile Foundation in conducting the relief work in June. We appreciate the ongoing service being rendered for the people” – said a signed message by Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Mr. Vijay Bahuguna, in appreciation of the project.
Children, along with their parents and teachers, from Mission Education centre at Hafiznagar in Assam came together to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti.
The children paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi, by singing the song ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’. A cleanliness drive was also organised in and around the centre which saw enthusiastic participation from the kids.
Later in the day, the Lions and the Lioness Club of Guwahati organised an ‘Aahar Seva’ for the children. The students presented self-written poems and articles on Mahatma Gandhi before the guests. This was followed by a community lunch served to all the children from the centre and the residents of Hafiznagar slum area, covering a total of 300 people.
Children from Mission Education centre in Pune, run by Sevadham Trust, participated in a unique Sports Meet organized by Concern India Foundation at Sanas Grounds. The event brought together underprivileged children from various organizations.
25 children were selected through trials conducted at the centre in different athletic sports. At the Meet, they participated in races, long jump and shot put tournaments. The kids were also given sports shoes, T-shirts and refreshment during the meet.
The event was intended to inculcate team spirit and sportsmanship in the children and also promote outdoor sports and physical exercise for their good health. At Mission Education centres, education is not limited to the classroom; rather the holistic development of the children is aimed at.
Smile Foundation launched an integrated development project to provide education and healthcare services to the underprivileged in Auriya district of Uttar Pradesh. The villages of Vaisundhera, Kanno, Khanpur and Pata are covered under the intervention.
The programme will provide remedial education, academic support and computer literacy to village children in the age group of 6-16 years.
It will also organize Smile Health Camps for providing curative, preventive, promotive and referral healthcare services in the villages. Community mobilization and sensitization activities on issues like education, health, female foeticide and women empowerment will be an integral part of the project.
The project was formally inaugurated at Vaisundhera village in the presence of GAIL officials – Mr. M.D. Gohil, Executive Director; Mr. A.C. Pandey, GM-Finance; Mr. Arun Kumar Srivastava, GM-HR; Mr. Pradosh Bhardwaj, Sr. Manager HR and CSR, and representatives from Smile Foundation – Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, COO and Mr. Satnam Singh, Chief Manager.
An Employer Engagement programme was conducted at a Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre in New Delhi with Eureka Forbes. A team led by Mr. L. P. Joshi, Eureka Forbes Regional Head (HR), gave a presentation on the company’s HR policies, recruitment processes, job profiles, salary packages, incentives and career growth.
Twenty youth from the centre opted for the orientation cum interview programme and half of them were selected as trainees with Eureka Forbes.
STeP is a national level employability initiative from Smile Foundation which trains youth from under-served backgrounds through a tailor-made six-month course and helps them find dignified employment in service and retail sectors.
So far, 13,750 youth have been trained under the programme across India with a majority of them transforming into first generation workers in the organised sectors.
Children from Mission Education centre at Padarkhedi village, in Guna district of MP, took out a rally in the village to spread awareness about the importance of education. The rally was taken out to encourage parents to send their children to school.
These student-driven rallies have become an integral part of the Community Education and Health project being run at five villages – Ahmedapur, Bablikheda, Padarkhedi, Chainpura and Bhumlakhedi in the Guna district.
Initiated a year ago to spread awareness about the education project, the movement has since been joined by students at the centre to bring their non-school going friends to school.
Besides leading to high enrolments, the awareness rally by students also helps with higher attendance, a lower drop-out rate and active involvement of parents in their kids’ studies.
STeP centre Bitan in Budge Budge, West Bengal organized a career counselling cum employer engagement programme for students, with I Volunteer, during the Joy of Giving Week. iVolunteer provides career counselling to youth, while also engaging them as volunteers with various organizations.
Mr. Tanveer, Relationship Manager, iVolunteer, conducted a training session on Livelihood Development with the students. He shared some handy tips on facing interviews and gave them some basic lessons in courtesy, personality development and body language.
The youth were attentive and engaged throughout the session and came up with many questions at the end, which were patiently answered by Mr. Tanveer. 40 youth from the centre were part of the counselling session.
A Mobile Health Clinic has been introduced under Swabhiman programme in Delhi. The initiative, supported by Wild Ganzen, will cater particularly to women and young girls, from three of the programme’s intervention communities – Shri Ram J. J. Camp, New Ashoknagar and Chhattarpur Pahari.
Women ensure wellbeing of not only the present generation but also the coming generation. But unfortunately when it comes to healthcare, they come at the bottom of the pyramid. Poverty, coupled with lack of education and awareness about health issues make their situation only worse.
Swabhiman has been conducting interactive workshops on health issues with women to inculcate a health seeking behaviour, and now with the health clinic, their health needs are being directly met, at their doorsteps.
The health clinic is expected to cover a population of 100,000. It will provide not only preventive and curative, but also referral and counseling services to the beneficiaries.
Students from J. H. Tarapore School are on a mission to help their new found friends reinvent childhood and create interest in studies. Their friends are 30 homeless children between 6 and 16 years who have till recently been wandering around Tatanagar railway platforms.
Now inducted at Mission Education centre at Sakchi, Jharkhand, run in association with YMCA Jamshedpur, most of the children are either orphans, abandoned or runaways from Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal.
With good habits, study, care and inviting privileged citizens as ‘foster parents,’ the children have started dreaming about making an identity for themselves. Children from leading schools of the steel city pay a visit some time or take them out, which is making them grow more compassionate and wanted.
The Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project being run in collaboration with St. Stephen’s Hospital in Delhi has now extended its services to cover auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers in outer Delhi and NCR. These drivers are usually the sole bread winners in the family and stay away from regular healthcare or even awareness owing to the nature of their work.
The mobile hospital unit visits designated CNG gas stations such as Jail Road and Vaishali (Ghaziabad) that are frequented by such drivers.
Early this year, this Smile on Wheels project had also included children from Govt. schools in North and East Delhi, by collaborating with Delhi Govt.’s Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojana.
As a major focus, the project has been covering the homeless, slum dwellers, migrants, daily wage earners and rickshaw pullers in clusters like Yamuna Pushta, Mansarovar Park, Rani Garden, Kalyanvas, Mori Gate, Motia Khan, Majnu Ka Tila, Shastri Nagar, Dilshad Garden, Shastri Park, and Nand Nagri.
Children from Mission Education centre in Kolkata went on a day out at the Eco Park, Rajarhat. They spent the day sightseeing, playing games, eating out and having fun and frolic. Soroptimist International of South Kolkata sponsored the trip.
The centre is supporting 300 children under Mission Education programme, in the form of quality education, basic healthcare and a well designed mid-day meal and nutrition programme run through its own kitchen.
The children, who were either vulnerable on the streets of Kolkata or too deprived to attend school, are now dreaming of a future of their own; their resilience and optimism have become a source of motivation for their mentors and teachers.