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Smile Together India Foundation is a social development organization established to work for the empowerment and positive change in the life of the Dalits, Women, Child and Person with disability of marginalized communities in India. It had been established in 2019 as a non-profit trust.
This is an endeavour of the joint effort made by the people from social development background from India and United States. They come together for a common cause to bring better life option for the most deprived and unreached. Bihar state is among the poorest States of India. They focused to work on the Bihar first with the work related to child protection, education, livelihood, ecological sensitization and many other social issues.
The People behind the foundation are having more than two decade of social development experience in many parts of Globe. There are many activities related to child rights and women empowerment has been done through their individual approach in Gaya district.
Started on 2019, it has focused its operational area on Bihar state which comes in the bottom line of development parameters of India.
Although STFI is open to work anywhere in Indian territory as per the law of the country.
It has its registered address in Gaya district of Bihar. Gaya is the district where world famous Bodh Gaya (a religious place of importance of Buddhist) is located. It has huge tourist influx from round the globe. The place of tourist visits defiantly generate revenues for government and income for the local people. But among the some of its adverse is that huge migration (including child migration) is happening which in many events lead to violation of individual rights and protection.
Gaya being the low rainfall area and undulated landscape have comparatively less scope in agriculture which is the backbone on Indian rural economy. Also due to socio-political clashes and crises have led the district more towards backwardness. With all these and many other socio-economic crises, the district is in much need of support for socio-economic upliftment. So, STFI focuses to start its work from Gaya.
Smile Together India Foundation is a non-profit Trust established in 2019 to support families in the Gaya district of Bihar, India who face food insecurity and lack access to basic education and healthcare. As an organization focused on empowerment and service, Smile Together India is committed to protecting the interests of vulnerable populations including Dalits (members of the lowest caste), women and children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. We strive to provide these populations with resources in the form of food and clothing to help alleviate undue suffering. Our five year plan includes expanding our reach to provide housing and education to children, access to quality healthcare, and sustainable skill training to promote livelihood among villagers.
Smile Together India was founded in 2019 by a native Bihari named Sourabh Kumar. After a visit to the Kanichi Dham Neem Karoli Baba Ashram, Sourabh was inspired to start a social service organization to help alleviate the suffering of the Bihari people who according to the 2019 SDG India Index are one of the poorest states in India with 33.7 percent of the population living in poverty. Sourabh enlisted the help of his brother Sandeep Kumar and an American social worker to develop a collaborative effort which included the establishment of an Executive Board made up of villagers and community members who oversee the operations of Smile Together India using a shared decision making process which improves social empowerment among all members.
Smile Together India Foundation currently serves 50 -100 families per month in the Mahuain, Tenari, and Indil Villages in the Guraru Block located West of Gaya, Bihar, India. We are currently applying for FCRA (Foreign Contributions Regulations Act) designation which is a requirement of the Indian Government that will allow our organization to accept grants from foreign donors. We anticipate receiving FCRA prior permission sometime in 2023 and are developing a five year plan to expand services to provide housing and education to at-risk children, access to basic medical care, and sustainable skill training to facilitate self sufficiency among villagers.
Child rights and development are critical for building a better world. Children are the future of our society and ensuring their access to education, healthcare, and protection from abuse and exploitation is essential.
Sustainable livelihood for marginalized populations is crucial to reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and building resilience to shocks and stresses.
Food and health security are essential components of human well-being and development. Ensuring access to nutritious food and quality healthcare services is crucial for preventing malnutrition and disease.
Research on socially vulnerable issues can help to identify the root causes of social inequalities and inform effective interventions. Socially vulnerable issues include poverty, inequality, discrimination, and exclusion, among others.
CEO & Secretery
During my visit to Bihar's Gaya District in March, I had the opportunity to visit Smile Together India and witness firsthand the impact of their work in the community. I was deeply touched by the dedication of Sourabh Pathak, who left his tourism job to devote himself entirely to this project that aims to provide food, blankets, shelter, and medical assistance to the underprivileged.
The poverty I witnessed in the villages was staggering, and it reminded me of the fundamental human needs for air, food, water, and shelter. Smile Together India is doing incredible work to meet these needs by providing hand pumps for drinking water and establishing charitable institutions such as dispensaries, diagnostic clinics, and medical aid centers.
Furthermore, the foundation is also making efforts to empower women by launching a project to manufacture eco-friendly items like cloth bags and providing education and employment opportunities for widows, divorcees, and women with special needs.
I saw the gratitude in the eyes of the villagers who received kit rations from Smile Together India, and it was heartwarming. If this testimonial resonates with you, I urge you to support Smile Together India's mission and help make a difference in the lives of those in need. Let's all come together and add drops of water to create a well of drinking water for those in need.