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The widening smile

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Rights now Children taking out a rally on National Girl Child Day
Rights now Children taking out a rally on National Girl Child Day

The Smile Foundation’s Swabhiman programme for the girl child spreads to Haryana

Understanding the importance of gender equality as a cornerstone for development, the Smile Foundation launched Swabhiman, a programme for the health and empowerment of the girl child. The objective of Swabhiman is to empower Indian women. Started as a pilot intervention, the project has assumed considerable popularity and significant community acceptance.

Considerable work

Launched in 2005 August, this initiative by Smile Foundation has done considerable work and has joined hands with various organisations and communities, including Delhi Police, Delhi Commission for Women, Delhi Legal Service Authorities, Crime Against Women Cell, the British Council, etc.

After its successful implementation in Delhi, where it is reaching out to approximately 80,000 people, the intervention has been replicated in Haryana, covering a rural population of 60,000. The focus of the programme, which is implemented through community leaders, is on health and education.

The organisation is targeting the girl child because intervention at an early age provides a good foundation.

There is also the project Smile on Wheels — a mobile hospital which aims to take comprehensive healthcare services to remote and rural areas and urban slums.

Moreover, the foundation is trying to reach out to more then 1000 schools and other institutions. There is also a plan to expand the programme internationally.

ABBAS HAIDER

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