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Smile Foundation

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Smile Foundation
FounderSantanu Mishra
TypeNon Governmental Organisation
Legal statusfoundation
PurposeChild education and women empowerment
HeadquartersNew Delhi
Region served
25 states of India
Santanu Mishra
Budget (2018-19)
62 crore (US$8.6 million)[1]
Expenses (2018-19)57 crore (US$7.9 million)[1]

Smile Foundation is an Indian non-profit and non-governmental development organizations which provides support for child education and women empowerment. Its headquarter is located in New Delhi.[3] Santanu Mishra is the co-founder and executive trustee of the foundation.[4] The foundation primarily works in disadvantaged areas in the fields of education, health, livelihood and empowerment.[3]

As of 2020, the foundation has launched over 400 projects which are functional across 25 states of India. The foundation has adapted social venture philanthropy (SVP) and venture capital models in the implementation of its projects. Smile receives 80 % of its funding from corporate sector.

In 2011, the foundation produced a Hindi film I Am Kalam which was awarded National Film Award and Filmfare Award.


Smile Foundation is a developmental organization. It benefits directly over 600,000 (as of 2018) underprivileged children and families through over 400 welfare projects, and works towards advancements in health sector, education, skill development, employment enhancement, and women empowerment across 25 Indian states.[5][6][7]

Smile Foundation was co-founded by Santanu Mishra, with his fellow corporate professionals, in 2002 as a registered trust. At the time, the foundation adapted the venture capital model.[8][3]

The headquarters of the Smile Foundation is located in New Delhi. The foundation has offices throughout the country in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Pune.[9]

During its early years, the foundation primarily focused on children and their primary health care and education. Later the foundation expanded the scope to youth and adolescents and concentrated on livelihood development. It adapted the social venture philanthropy (SVP) model for the implementation of its projects.[10]


The foundation has adapted principles of good governance in its operations and management. Foundation's policies and resolution is prepared by a four-tier system consisting of departments and divisions, executive committee, advisory body, and board of trustees. The head office is divided into six sections, which are Program, Communication, Resources, Facilitation, Governance and School Advocacy Divisions. The program section has another six sub-sections for the different programs.[9]

Smile has around 400 working staff.[2]


Smile receives 80 % of its funding from various companies.[2]

In its early phase, the foundation received financial support mainly from its trustees. Between 2002 to 2006, the foundation received surplus fund arranged by the trustees. From 2006-07, it received fund from Population Foundation of India (PFI), German Embassy, Times Foundation, and Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC). In 2012, the foundation, through its fund raising strategy, received funds from over 140 corporates, among them some funders are PFI, SAIL, Samsung, Tech Mahindra, and Jindal Steel. In 2014, the foundation received financial support from Herbalife, Barclays, MTS, Harley-Davidson, ANZ Bank. Along with corporate partnerships, the foundation also focuses on individuals as well as public sector undertaking for funding support.[10]


Though the foundation is active in different fields; ranging from woman empowerment to skill development, it mainly focus on children.[10] The Foundation provides education to children of Class 1 to Class 12 living in villages and slums across 23 states of India.[11]

During COVID-19 lockdown, the foundation conducted psychological tele-counseling, and provided nutrition, masks, soaps, sanitary napkins and sanitisers in 19 Indian states.[4] In December 2020, the Embassy of Israel in India collaborated with Smile Foundation to support underprivileged communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.[12] The foundation has partnered over 250 national and international brands including Ericsson, FIS, Airbus, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, PepsiCo and BAE Systems.[2]


During 2002 to 2005, the foundation started its Mission Education program. As of 2010-2011, this program covered 21 states of India. During 2005 and 2007, the foundation launched 'Swabhiman', the program for women empowerment, Smile Twin E-learning Programme (STeP) and Smile On Wheels (SoW), a mobile health clinic.[10] During 2015-16, the foundation launched programs which were aimed to enhance people's innovative ability and leadership.[6]

These programmes are handled by programme managers and senior programme officers from the head office. They are assisted by field officers across various places.[13]

Mission Education Programme
The Mission Education programme is aimed to provide basic education and healthcare to underprivileged children.[13]

Smile launched its programme 'Swabhiman' in 2005 to empower girls and women.[2][14] The programme is aimed to make aware young girls on gender issues, and to teach them about life skills, including communication and negotiation skills. It also provides reproductive and child health services by mobile health clinic for married women.[13] Under this program, the foundation has educated around 150,000 young women for self-defence and empowerment skills.[15]

Smile on Wheels (SoW)
Smile on Wheels (SoW), a multi-purpose programme, was launched in 2006 to provide a primary health care services to disadvantaged communities of villages and slums through an equipped mobile medical van. It also provides basic knowledge of personal hygiene. The programme provides services to over 5,00,000 people in India.[13][16][17]

Smile Twin E-learning Programme (STeP)
The Smile Twin E-learning Programme (STeP) is a livelihood programme which was launched in 2007. It was planned for the marginalised youth from 18-30 years age group. The main aim of the program was to provide income for the young people and their families. It included vocational education training to develop soft skills in youth.[10][13] The programme provides basic knowledge of computer, typing and spoken English to youth.[17]


Smile Foundation and Mishra produced the 2011 films I Am Kalam, directed by Nila Madhab Panda,[3][2] and became the first Indian development organization to conceptualize and produce a full length parallel film which is focused on education. The film was awarded 22 national and international awards including the National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards.[13]

In 2015, the foundation launched the Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFFCY) to screen world cinema for children. Its 5th edition was launched in 2019, focusing on cinema from Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic[3][18] The foundation produced 60 short films during 2009 and 2013.[3]


In 2010, the foundation was awarded the Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award for Television for its television documentary 'Choone Do Aasman' ('Let Them Touch the Sky'). The documentary was also awarded the best Hindi news documentary of 2009 at the 3rd Indian News Broadcasting (INB) Awards (2010). The foundation was awarded the Special Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2012. It is enlisted with the National CSR Hub of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.[19][13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "ImFact19 - SMILE Annual Report (Annual Review Report - 2018-19)" (PDF). Smile Foundation. 2019. p. 61.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kavita Charanji (2017-10-20). "What a Smile can do: 250 projects in 25 states". Civil Society Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Devgan, Kavita (2019-04-02). "This movie buff uses films to inspire children". mint. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Smile Foundation plans mental health tele-counselling in 14 states". Telangana Today. 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  5. Patzold, Matthias (2018). "It's Time to Go Big with 5G". IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 13 (4): 4–10. doi:10.1109/mvt.2018.2869728. ISSN 1556-6072.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pritha Venkatachalam; Danielle Berfond (6 September 2017). "NGO Leadership Development in India: From Pioneer-Founders to Homegrown Leaders". Stanford Social Innovation Review. Retrieved 15 March 2021.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  7. "Ericsson supports COVID-19 testing in India". Ericsson. 2021-01-26. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  8. Smith, Zoe (2013-07-09). "Venture philanthropy and the quest for aid effectiveness". the Guardian. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Th.N.M. Schuyt; G. Frerks; P. Inklaar (16 June 2010). Evaluation Action For Children Program 2007-2010 (PDF). Amsterdam: VU University Amsterdam. pp. 7–11. ISBN 978-90-77383-17-9.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Cecile Kusters; Bibhu Prasad Mohapatra; Sonam Sethi; Nicky Buizer; Anand Das; Robert Wilson Bhatra; Paroma Sen (January 2015). Endline report – India, Smile Foundation MFS II country evaluations; Capacity of Southern Partner Organisations (5C) component (PDF). Wageningen: Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University & Research centre. p. 13.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. "On Children's Day, here are a few foundations working for childcare, child rights and education". India Today. 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  12. "Israel collaborates with NGOs to bring light to underprivileged in India during Covid-19 pandemic". The Statesman. 2020-12-12. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 "Smile Foundation" (PDF). Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  14. Mital, Saloni (2013-07-23). "Rebuilding lives". The New Indian Express.
  15. "Study together, dream together: Jackie Chan's message to kids". Firstpost. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  16. "Karnataka gets first mobile hospital". The Times of India. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "A reason to grin". The Hindustan Times. 2008-08-25.
  18. "5th Smile International Film Festival to focus on cinema from Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic". Yahoo Lifestyle India. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  19. "Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award for Television 2016" (PDF). United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.

External links[edit]

Category:2002 establishments in Delhi Category:Child-related organisations in India Category:Educational organisations based in India Category:Organisations based in Delhi Category:Organizations established in 2002 Category:Non-profit organisations based in India

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