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Brew Magazine (January 2016 Issue)

Peter Senge is an American systems scientist who founded the Society for Organization Learning. He wanted to help large corporations find sustainable solutions to their problems. He also believed that social equality and environmental issues were business problems, and it was up to corporate leaders to solve them. His philosophy inspired a group of professionals in India, and the Smile Foundation was born. They started in 2002 with the aim of empowering children, youth and women via education, health care and relevant livelihood programs. 15 years in, Smile Foundation is doing a wonderful job. Ajay Srikanth speaks to its co-founder and Executive Trustee, Mr. SantanuMisra, about the organization, successes and plans for the

Ask him about the beginnings, and he says “Smile Foundation was established in 2002 by a group of friends- well established corporate professionals, who came together with the sole aim of giving back to the society. Smile Foundation has always thought of its role as a catalyst in bringing sustainable change in the lives of underprivileged children, and their families, by working effectively on the ground and encouraging civil society to be a part of the development process.”

Smile decided to begin with child education, but soon realised that it could not be done without ensuring the total welfare of the child’s family. It is a familiar story; the child wants to go to school to learn, but has to earn a living so that his/her family can live. Once they realized this, they adopted a life-cycle approach of development, keeping children at the centre, but looking at familial well-being as well.

Regarding Smile’s working, Santanu says “Smile Foundation is now working largely in, but not limited to, four subject areas- education, livelihood, health and women empowerment. We have 158 welfare projects on the ground, spread across 732 villages and slums in 25 states of India, directly benefitting more than 3,00,000 children and families.”

The foundation has core programs in all of these areas. Their flagship program, Mission Education, aims to provide basic education and healthcare to underprivileged children. More than 2,00,000 children have been a part of Mission Education since its inception in 2002. The program currently reaches out to 19,000 children via 90 projects in 21 different states.

Smile On Wheels is their national level mobile hospital program. It is essentially a travelling hospital. Mostly active in rural areas, the aim is to discharge direct healthcare to regions that need it the most. Smile On Wheels also made an appearance during the Chennai floods, dispending medicines and other medical supplies.

Step (Smile Twin e-Learning Program) is a livelihood programme that trains urban underprivileged youth with job and soft skills. Participants learn English, basic technical literacy, personality development and similar things. 11,5000 people have been placed in 140 odd companies via STeP.

They also run an empowerment programme for the girl child and women, Swabhiman. Swabhiman runs on the ‘4 S Model’, which means Seeking Healthcare as a Behaviour, Support through Education, Support from Men through Male Involvement, and Sustaining Change in the Community.

Regarding the issues Smile faces, Santanusays “For any development organization, the major challenge is to sustain its projects on the ground to ensure maximum SROI (Social Return on Investment), while also scaling up to reach out to a large number of people.In a country of size and diversity of India, this challenge becomes intensified.”

Smile adopts a service delivery approach of development, rather than the advocacy based one, which means their projects are operational 365 days in a year, with the situation on ground being far from ideal. He says the journey, while challenging, is definitely rewarding.

He also says that the CSR mandate has been a boon to NPOs and NGOs across the country, as this guarantees some amount of funding. However, he claims that individuals are prone to religious giving than social giving. He believes that a change here will be a huge boost to social causes across the country.

Smile has a rather unique feature called “Social Venture Philanthropy”. They train grassroot NGOs across the country to function better, and have trained over 500 organizations via their Empowering Grassroots Program. Which makes sense when you think about it. Change always begins at the roots, and these organizations have played a large role in bettering the lives of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Training and giving these NGOs the tools to perform better is undoubtedly the best way to level that pyramid.

Smile Foundation has won quite a few awards for the conception and handling of their programs. As of date of writing, all four programmes focused on their core areas have been awarded and recognized by organizations such as ASSOCHAM (Education Excellence Award 2013 and Best NGO of Skill Development and Placement Training 2014), Institute of the Chartered Accountants of India (Best CSR Project in Women Empowerment 2015) and GE Healthcare (Modern Medicare Excellence Award).

Smile Foundation has been evaluated by some of the most reputed Indian and International evaluators including INTRAC London, KPMG, India Development Foundation and PRIA, and has met their expectations and norms. Santanu stressed that credibility and accountability have always been the benchmark for Smile Foundation, and are achieved through the promotion of principles of good governance in its processes and practices. “We have a four-tier audit and evaluation mechanism which reviews programmes and projects, internal operations, compliance of statutory norms and conducts an external evaluation to ensure the impact of various welfare projects, as well as complete transparency and accountability in utilisation of funds.”

Regarding the future, this is what he has to say. “In the coming years, Smile Foundation will be making further efforts to benefit a larger population with its projects, at the same time enhancing the existing ones and turning them into model grassroots projects, that are scalable and replicable. We will also be taking up more initiatives to reach out and sensitize the civil society, particularly children and youth, to be change makers.”

“Smile Foundation is now working largely in, but not limited to, four subject areas- education, livelihood, health and women empowerment. We have 158 welfare projects on the ground, spread acros “For any development organization, the major challenge is to sustain its projects on the ground to ensure maximum SROI (Social Return on Investment), while also scaling up to “In the coming years, Smile Foundation will be making further efforts to benefit a larger population with its projects, at the same time enhancing the existing ones and turning them into model grassroots projects, that are scalable and replicable. We will also be taking up more initiatives to reach out and sensitize the civil society, particularly children and youth, to be change makers.”

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:

  • Your name
  • Your email and mailing address
  • 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.

Privacy of e-mail lists

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.
Terms and Conditions

Use of this site is provided by SMILE FOUNDATION subject to the following Terms and Conditions:

SMILE FOUNDATION reserves the rights to change these terms and conditions at any time by posting changes online. Your continued use of this site after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of this agreement as modified. You agree to use this site only for lawful purposes, and in a manner which does not infringe the rights, or restrict, or inhibit the use and enjoyment of the site by any third party.

This site and the information, names, images, pictures, logos regarding or relating to SMILE FOUNDATION are provided “as is” without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied. In no event will SMILE FOUNDATION be liable for any damages including, without limitation, indirect or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever arising from the use or in connection with such use or loss of use of the site, whether in contract or in negligence.

SMILE FOUNDATION does not warrant that the functions contained in the material contained in this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or bugs or represents the full functionality, accuracy and reliability of the materials.

Copyright restrictions:

Commercial use or publication of all or any item displayed is strictly prohibited without prior authorization from SMILE FOUNDATION. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license by SMILE FOUNDATION to use any item displayed.

Documents may be copied for personal use only on the condition that copyright and source indications are also copied, no modifications are made and the document is copied entirely. However, some documents and photos have been published on this site with the permission of the relevant copyright owners (who are not SMILE FOUNDATION). All rights are reserved on these documents and permission to copy them must be requested from the copyright owners (the sources are indicated within these documents/photographs).

SMILE FOUNDATION takes no responsibility for the content of external Internet sites. Other websites that we link to are owned and operated by third parties and SMILE FOUNDATION has no control over them. The fact that we include links to other websites does not mean that SMILE FOUNDATION approves of or endorses any other third party website or the content of that website. We accept no liability for any statements, information, products or services that are published on or are accessible through any websites owned or operated by third parties.

Any communication or material that you transmit to, or post on, any public area of the site including any data, questions, comments, suggestions, or the like, is, and will be treated as, non-confidential and nonproprietary information. If there is any conflict between these terms and conditions and rules and/or specific terms of use appearing on this site relating to specific material then the latter shall prevail.

These terms and conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of India.

If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, the use of this site must be terminated immediately. SMILE FOUNDATION for Social Welfare Service is a registered at

161 B/4, 3rd Floor, Gulmohar House
Yusuf Sarai Community Centre
New Delhi-110049
Phone : +91-11-43123700

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