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Smile Foundation brings 'Smile on Wheels' to Nagpur


Underprivileged communities to benefit from the mobile hospital programme which will provide healthcare services at their doorsteps

Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation launched its mobile hospital ‘Smile on Wheels’ for Nagpur on April 8,2010. ‘Smile on Wheels’ at Nagpur will operate in collaboration with Urvi Ashok Piramal Foundation, an organisation involved in enriching the lives of communities by empowering them to develop and execute sustainable livelihood models.

The mobile hospital aims to target approximately one lac forty thousand (1.4 lac) underprivileged population in urban and rural slums of Nagpur. Talking about the need of efficient healthcare services in the region, Harish Nandan Sahay, Director Operations, Smile Foundation said, “Launch of ‘Smile on Wheels’ in Nagpur is meant to deliver health care and support to the ‘aam admi’ with major focus on children and women living in slums and rural areas of the district.”

Smile Foundation believes that the concept of public private partnership for providing health care services at the door steps of the underprivileged communities needs to be taken up at a large scale in India. “With necessary support from our partners, our mission of making the health care facilities accessible and affordable for the target communities across the country will be a success. With more corporate houses taking part in such initiatives, we can look forward to better health seeking behaviour in the country” observed HN Sahay.

Nandan Pirtamal, Trustee at Urvi Ashok Piramal Foudation said, “We are happy to extend our resources and support to strengthen village health care system through ‘Smile on Wheels’. It will provide health care services which includes medical examination, laboratory testing and treatment at doorstep of the underprivileged population.” With an objective to strengthen the rural health care system and also create awareness on prevention of various diseases, we plan to reach out to around seventy five thousand (75,000) populations in 25 villages in the initial three months of operations, informed the partner.”

Sustainability is the core value of any development processes and without empowerment of community people sustainable social development is not possible. “We want to build our social initiatives with an underlying objective of achieving self sustainability model where people are empowered to take forward the community activities, added Nandan Piramal.

The survey and area research for Nagpur suggests that there is a lack of basic healthcare services in many of the urban slums and rural villages. There is a lack of adequate number of healthcare centres in the district to cater to around 2000 villages. Majority of the population is suffering from diseases like dengue, gastro-enteritis and malaria. Children suffer with diseases of the ear and women are found to be anaemic in large numbers. ‘Smile on Wheels’ plan to take measures for treating such diseases apart from day to day healthcare needs of the population. The mobile hospital will have a competent team of doctors and para-medical staff to cater to the specific health care needs of each patient. Salaidhaba, Buti Bori , Kanholibara, Borgaon , Takalgat have been identified as localities where there is an immediate need for quality health care services to improve the standard of life.

At present, ’Smile on Wheels’ is also operational in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The initiative of mobile hospital programme from Smile Foundation has successfully covered seven lakh eighty six thousand six hundred and sixty seven (786,667) underprivileged people across the country in one hundred and twenty (120) slums and villages.

Smile Foundation has been awarded ‘NGO of the Year’ by GE Healthcare – Modern Medicare Excellence Award for innovative contribution that ‘Smile on Wheels’ has made towards healthcare services for the poor and needy.

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