Smile Foundation has taken a step forward in restoring the rightful position of women in society by taking its programme for empowerment of women and girls, Swabhiman, to Karnataka.
The programme was launched on July 12, 2013 in Hegganahalli and Ramanna Badavane settlements in Bangalore. It is being supported by Shankara Infrastructure Materials Limited, in association with DANI Development and Social Action.
The focus of the project is on the reproductive and sexual health of adolescent girls and young women. Due to illiteracy and lack of awareness about health and hygiene, most young girls and women neglect important nutritional and sanitary requirements of the body, resulting in health problems.
Covering a population of 10,000, Smile Foundation aims to bring pride and dignity in the lives of these girls and women by enabling them to discover and explore their full potential in every sphere – be it home, work place or community.
The Swabhiman centre was inaugurated by chief guest Sukumar Srinivas, Managing Director, Shankara Infrastructure Materials Limited. He addressed the session by applauding Smile Foundation and DANI Development and Social Action, for empowering the underprivileged women.
Swabhiman works on the ‘4-S Model’, which is an acronym for four novel approaches – Seeking Healthcare as a Behaviour, Support for Education, Supporters in Men through Male Involvement, and Sustaining the Change in Communities. The programme is specifically aimed at realisation of both individual and collective self-esteem and inner strength, for marginalised and socially excluded women and adolescent girls, through innovative community practices.
Speaking about the association, Smita Kalappa, National Director, Child for Child programme, said, “Smile Foundation, through Swabhiman programme, identifies adolescent girls and women from the community and develops them into Change Agents, who in turn actively contribute to the community development process. We are happy to open our first Swabhiman centre in Karnataka and hope this project will be a huge success, changing lives of many women. Since its inception in the year 2005, the programme has benefitted over 150,000 girls and young women to be suitably prepared and oriented for a dignified and empowered future.”