Niramaya Health Foundation’s Aarogyasanvardhan Project marked its 2nd annual International Women’s Day (IWD) event at Andheri Marol Pipeline, on March 8, 2013. This event was intended to celebrate women and their achievements, and to educate and inspire them for their futures. The theme for International Women’s Day this year, as set by the United Nations, was “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum”.

‘Aarogyasanvardhan’ is a project funded by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals that selects 25 women from the Andheri Marol Pipeline area to work as peers to raise community awareness on issues of malnutrition, immunization and sanitation among children, and pregnant and lactating women; and to encourage women to attend regular health checkups and health education sessions provided by Niramaya.

The Chief Guest at the event was Mrs. Shamshree Bhosale, Director and Principal of Jidd Special School in Thane. Also attending the event were Richa Pant from Glenmark, and Mrs. Varadhachary, a committed Volunteer at Niramaya.

Around 300 women from surrounding communities came to the IWD event and were able to take a break from their daily routines to participate in fun games in the morning, win prizes, watch song and dance performances put together by young girls from their own communities, and generally engage with other women.

A street play was also performed by some women in the community to depict that marriage need not be a barrier for women wanting to pursue an education, and that it is important for their families and peers to support their initiative.

Given that marriage is often seen as a barrier for many women who seek to further educate themselves, the Chief Guest, Mrs. Bhosale also addressed this theme. She gave the audience an inspiring account of her journey as a student which she began before marriage, and which she continued to pursue after marriage, with the support of her husband and family. She credited her career achievements, personal growth and independence as a direct result of her continuing education.

Overall, staff at Niramaya was pleased with the day-long event and felt it was a success to see many new faces among the participants, but also many returning faces, as there is great value to repetition in the process of educating and raising awareness in the audience.



Ms Shamshree tai Bhosale,
Chief Guest- Addressing
the Women


Felicitation by Mrs Jamna Vardhachary


Ms Shamshree tai Bhosale,
Chief Guest- Addressing
the Women




On the Threshold of Adolescence

What does adolescence mean? What happens at this age? Freedom, liberty, free will, independence, and lack of restrictions, are some of many words that can be used to express adolescence. As a result, it becomes very important to educate adolescents about making healthy, responsible choices based on scientific knowledge.

Niramaya Health Foundation marked Youth Day with an event geared towards adolescent health education, as part of their Sensitization Program for Adolescents on Reproductive and Sexual Health (SPARSH) that works to improve the health of adolescents studying in schools in Mumbai’s slums. The event was held on Feb 1, 2013 at Kumud Vidya Mandir and involved participants from ten schools in the surrounding areas.

The principals and authorities of all ten participating schools readily granted permission to conduct the event, as they are well-versed with the sensitization work carried out by Niramaya every year in their schools. The theme of the event was ‘Sexual Violence and Male Sexuality in the Current Scenario’, based on the recently publicized attacks on women, gang rape and eve teasing seen across the country.

On the event day, adolescents from the 10 schools had a chance to learn about the many realities of adolescence - body changes and other transitions at this age; responsibilities and risks of one’s actions, the difference between love and attraction, and so on. School teachers and principals also learned about ways to avoid hesitancy and awkwardness in communicating with students at this impressionable age, and in guiding them to shape their life based on scientific knowledge.

Dr. Vithal Prabhu, a renowned sexologist, was the chief guest for the event, and spoke on the given theme. Dr. Prabhu has published many books on adolescent issues, 3 of which have won him recognition from the Government of Maharashtra for his contribution to this field. He explained the natural reasons for the bodily changes, which is important in understanding the differences between attraction and love. He also covered the topics of eve teasing, avoiding violence due to one-sided attraction, and avoiding teenage and unplanned pregnancies.

Event activities included essay writing and drawing competitions on the given theme. Many students from 8th and 9th standards participated in both competitions. A panel of judges was formed to evaluate the entries, consisting of Dr. Choukar (Child Psychiatrist), Dr. Vishwanath Desai, and Dr. Janaki Desai (Gynecologist, working on adolescent and women issues). All judges were very impressed with the thoughts conveyed by students through their drawings and essays.

A street play on eve teasing was also organized for the students. It was performed by a professional group and was aimed at conveying the message of how eve teasing can impact on the victims as well as their families.

Students from all schools participated in the event activities with great joy. Staff at Niramaya had wanted to do something for adolescent students on Youth Day that would provide real educational value about being good, respectful human beings, avoiding violence, and sharing the joy of life. Therefore, it was very exciting for staff to hear positive feedback from students themselves about how informative this program has been for them in this stage of their lives.

Strenthening Bonding with Niramaya


Dr. Janaki Desai Addressing adolscents


Guest Speaker- Dr. Vitthal Prabhu


Winners of Drawing and Essay competition Honoured with Prizes- By Dr. Janaki Desai


Best and Meaningful Drawings Displayed in exhibition


Chief Guest on Dias


Oath- Value Women in life and
refrain everyone from Domestic violence
Street Play Education to Deprive
Eve teasing and Harrasement



HIV / AIDS Awareness Day

Niramaya and Volunteers from Glenmark under the ‘Community Volunteer Program’ marked the HIV/AIDS Awareness week in Marol Pipeline slum communities. Awareness rally, Street plays, PowerPoint presentations, Poster exhibitions, and Games with kids were the major activities organized under the “Niramaya Aarogya Sanvardhan Project “(NASP).

The Glenmark volunteers were given presentation on the goals and objectives of project Child Health and malnutrition followed by a lively discussion. On the question of the project sustainability, Niramaya has identified community women as Peers and trained them with health modules to be part of the NASP project. These Peers are emerging as ‘change makers’ in the community and will contribute to NASP’s sustainability Team. Experience sharing by peers was a wonderful experience; several of them had come out of their home for first time to participate in community work; only a few had held mike in hand before the NASP; and none had received any formal training before. Team Niramaya has really put great efforts in counseling, training and building their confidence. Result was there for all to see. Peers made presentations shared their experience of learning and helping others with confidence in the presence of large number of corporate executives and other volunteers.

Stall and Exhibition of posters and various IEC materials were arranged at the roadside. Flipcharts on nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, anemia, worms’ infestations and HIV/ADIS were available for the visitors. About 450 community people visited poster exhibition and received information through various leaflets.

A Rally with placards displaying various messages on HIV/AIDS & sanitation awareness turned out to be a major attraction of the event. Community adolescent girls also participated along with peers and volunteer. Main aim was to highlight before the community the causes, effects & prevention of HIV/AIDs, Hygiene and Immunization. Over 180 volunteers participated in the rally in all 5 communities of the project.

Street Play on Health Awareness, environmental hygiene and on HIV/ADIS proved to be a great attraction for the community people and passer-bys. Focused messages and information on these topics was successfully transferred to large number of people in the street

This was followed by organizing fun filled games for the kids. Volunteers grouped in four different teams with 20 participants in each played potato race, lemon & spoon, book balancing, throw ball etc. It was nice to see happy faces at the end of day.

Event concluded with distributing various prizes for kids and a token of appreciation for the peers.

It was a great day to remember for kids, Volunteers and Niramaya staff’!




Sensitization Training program for Peers of the community

Niramaya team under ‘Aarogyasanvardhan Project’ arranged sensitization training program for peers of the community in Andheri Marol Pipeline area. Training was scheduled for two days (28th and 29th march) to understand the health topics and gain scientific knowledge with the help of trained team of trainers and doctors. Role of this training was to understand the issues and need of health awareness in the community to peers and involve them to impart the knowledge to the community women.

The training began with introduction of the trainers and the peers. Training was covered with various tools and material to make it simplified and digestible to the women of community. Pre test evaluation was done at the first day of training program to asses the initial knowledge. Most for both consecutive days around 24 peers was present for health training.

First day, we covered with simple health topics like Sanitation (Personal and Environmental hygiene), Growth and Development, Nutrition, Malnutrition and Worms.

Participants engagged in
Pre and post test


Training is provided by
team of Trainers


Health topics like Immunization, Vaccination and preventable Disease, Anemia, ANC and PNC care, Breast feeding were covered through PowerPoint presentation on second day of training.

The sessions were very interactive with the help of slide using table and pictures and discussions. Topics like immunization were taken with the help of role-plays to understand better. Questions of peers were addressed after the health session by Doctor and trainers.

Vast knowledge was provided in these two days and so we have conducted Post test of same question paper to assess the knowledge gain as Pre and post impact.

Most of peers shown interest and were very active in the training. As training program was conducted for 2 full days, team has organized breakfast and lunch for the trainees. Health Module was provided to these peers to refresh their knowledge and to use for the community women. Suggestion came from peers for refresher trainings on quarterly basis, but we as part of project have assured to provide after six months.

Niramaya has appreciated all the peers with ‘Participation Certificates’. Total 25 peers are part of the project.

Tools and methodology used for training- PowerPoint presentation with LCD Laptop, Pre/Post questionnaires and analysis, Case studies, role-plays and games Training was done by team of Dr. Vinayak Sonawane, Ms. Sujata Aware, Ms. Adhika Jadhav and Ms. Triveni Jadhav.



World Health Day 2011 Celebration

Niramaya organized ‘International Women’s Day’ on 17th March 2012 at Gurudwara, Sanjay Nagar. Marol Pipeline, Andheri with various sports games, cultural events, street plays, followed by prize distribution and gifts for every participant and partaking of snacks at the end.

Niramaya has started working in five communities of Marol pipeline area in Andheri since last three months with under the “Aarogyasanvardhan” Project to create health awareness by health education sessions and provision of health care at the community level. In order to do so it is essential that there be community mobilization and participation and to achieve that this event was a great opportunity for us to involve the community and spread awareness about Niramaya.

Around 450 women and adolescent girls actively participated in the program. For the women who are otherwise busy looking after their families from dawn to dusk and find no time to really relax and enjoy, this was a great opportunity, About 100 women participated in games like sack race, potato race, coin picking, musical chairs The real meaning of “JOY” was clearly seen on the faces of these women who came to the ground at Gurudwara on that day. One woman said “I have really RELIVED MY CHILHOOD TODAY and have not enjoyed so much for a long long time”. Faces glowed with the released boundless energy and fulfillment.

Staff from other partner organizations also actively participated and helped in the sports events. In the afternoon, ‘Smata Yuva manch’-- a self Help group from the community presented street plays and performed various role plays on subjects like Female feticide, prenatal sex determination etc and gender violence. There were folks songs sung to address these issues also. These were well appreciated by the audience.

Dr. Kalpana Apte, Assistant Secretary General, National Family Planning Association of India was invited as a Chief Guest. Mr. Jason D’Souza, General Manager and Ms Richa Pant- Asst. General Manager, CSR dept, Glenmark were also invited.

Dr. kalpana Apte talked about the importance of “International Women’s Day” which is celebrated on 8th March all over the world. She discussed about the role of women in a given society and provided valuable guidance about women empowerment and rights of women.

Mr Jason D’souza also talked about women’s role in health care of communities and assured to provide all possible help from Glenmark for that through the efforts of Niramaya team.

Richa Pant has also encouraged women to get involved actively with Niramaya, an organization working in the community on “Good Health of All” with special focus on Malnutrition, immunization and sanitation issues.

Event ended with Prize distribution, gifts for all participants and snacks for all who came to be a part of this great community effort


World Health Day 2011 Celebration

On June 1st, 2011, Niramaya Health Foundation completed 10 yrs in the field of Health, serving the underprivileged and marginalized communities in Maharashtra. The staff, some of the Directors, Volunteers of Niramaya and personnel from some of the funding agencies had a small get-together.

We remembered all those working for Niramaya who left us for heavenly abode. Special tribute was paid to late Dr. Vardachary who was very actively involved as a Board Member in Niramaya’s development and progress. We also remembered all those volunteers from world over who came, learnt, participated, and contributed to Niramaya’s programs.

Certificates were given to the Health Workers who have been with Niramaya since the beginning for their dedication and hard work. Cake cutting ceremony was done by Directors Dr. Janaki Desai, Dr. Vimla Nadkarni and volunteer Jamuna Vardachary.

It was a very emotional experience for all those who have been a part of Niramaya since its inception.

Niramaya's Program Manager, giving an overview


Dr. Janaki Desai, talking
about hormonal changes
during adolesecence


Dr. Chaukar, explaining
cardio - vascular system

A session on TB taken
by Dr. Jyoti Salve

First Aid session Dr. Desai felicitating the health workers
World Health Day 2011 Celebration

We are working in the field of HEALTH; hence all of us know that 7th April is celebrated as World Health Day. We decided to celebrate this day with simplicity. In order to create awareness amongst the community people coming over to the clinic, we deliberately wished each one of them for the World Health Day, by giving a red rose. The importance of this day was elaborately explained by the clinic head Dr. Rahul Sonawane.

In this age it is important to spread a word about health to the people to help them achieve health seeking behavior in their routine to avoid contraction of ill-health in life. The notice board was designed depicting the WHO 2011 theme – for avoiding overuse of antibiotics. People visiting the clinic were particularly happy to have gained knowledge of importance and of course gifting a rose made them feel very special.


World Women’s Day

As every year, this year too womens’ day was celebrated with much gung ho in the community. All the local NGO viz: Pratham, Apanalaya, Police Foundation and many others joined hands to make this event a success. The chief sponsor Uninor, made sure that the arrangements were made well. Dignitaries from all the organizations were present to grace the occasion.

The program saw a turn out of around 500 women and their kids. Children of different age groups were also present. All who were present got to see amazing performances like Ovi (type of Marathi folk song) sung on Savitribai phule, Fancy Dress competition, practical demos by people from Andhshrddha Nirmulan Samiti etc. Niramaya had its peers dressed as people from medical profession to symbolize health. Dr. Rahul Sonawane (Niramaya’s Project Officer), was instrumental in getting all the requirements in place for the program. The day ended with women receiving prizes in the form of fridges and television and a vote of thanks by
Dr. Sonawane

Program manager on stage


Presence of huge


Republic Day celebration (26th January 2011)

The day was celebrated with great enthusiasm by Niramaya staff and the community kids. Dr. Rahul Sonawane, on behalf of Niramaya Health Foundation and the head of the clinic cum resource centre hoisted the flag on that day. India was declared to be a republic sovereign on that day as carries great importance in the history of India.

The clinic celebrated this day in clooaboration with Vishwamitra Mahila Mandal and its volunteers, who have also been a great support in past, for clinic activities. A small Niramaya Library was inaugurated on that day, which carries a typewriter that can be utilized to train children in the community in typing. The clinic staff was very keen to set up this library and worked hard for the same. The children were happy to receive chocolates and sweets along with their teachers from Pratham Education Foundation. Mrs. Kale, who had always been an initiator for different activities requested for a health education session for members of their mahila mandal. It was a memorable and an eventful day.

Similarly the 62nd republic day was celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm at the dumping ground. The program started at 10.00 am with the flag hoisting ceremony and singing of the National Anthem. 66 Drop-in Center took part in the various activities for the day. The children delivered speeches and sang patriotic songs. Some cultural activities like Dance and Shayaris were also part of the event. Our health worker also addressed the crowd regarding the importance of the day. Three prize winning entries were selected and given tokens of appreciation. The Program was concluded with distribution of snacks and chocolates.



Nutritious Recipe Competition Held for Behavior change amongst mothers 7th January 2011

Niramaya’s ‘Anemia Prevention and Control Program’ Team (APCP) had organized an event — “Recipe Competition” for the mothers of balwadi children. At the event, the mothers could participate as well as learn the nutritious recipes within their budget which will contribute towards good health and improve the cognitive functions of the Preschool children.

35 mothers participated. Parents were found to be well versed with Tricolor nutritious concept which was reflected in the recipes prepared by them and showed the impact of Behavior Change Communication (BCC) strategy through the use of IEC material which are carried out by our Health workers.

Three parents were awarded Prizes for their child friendly nutritious dishes. Discussions were held about the need of nutritive food for the children and all the participants were encouraged to prepare nutritious food for your children within their budgets.

Some of the kids danced on various famous Bollywood songs and made the event more entertaining and memorable.



orange day (10th december 2010)

GlaxoSmith Kline introduced its Orange Day, globally in January 2009 and since that time it has been encouraging thousands of its employees to make a significant difference to local community projects. The initiative allows each employee to take a day fully paid to volunteer for a chosen community project, organisation or cause which they support. The Orange Day has developed volunteering within GSK to substantial levels and has obvious benefits for both the employee and the organisation receiving the assistance.

In mumbai Glaxo CSR department has many projects with various NGO. Niramaya Ragpicker is one of them. On 10 Dec 2010 Glaxo organized Orange day at Govandi in collaboration with Niramaya Health Foundation and Pratham Education Initiative.

As part of the awareness program on Orange Day, a huge rally in which 400 to 500 Children from Drop-in Center of Niramaya and Pratham along with 40 Glaxo volunteer participated. The rally was flagged off by Hon. Director Dr. Janaki Desai near Gausuwara Masjid and contained posters, slogans and banners on Health issues ,Education which were exhibited all through the route from the Dumping clinic to Shivaji Nagar Bus Depo.

After the rally, the crowd separated for their activity at respective centers. So in Niramaya drop-in-center 4 volunteers along with 65 children of Drop-in-center actively participated in the class. The volunteer conducted various activities with children like singing songs, speeches and health related games and sparked off a friendly conversation with them. At the same time another group of 3 volunteers delivered sessions on micro finance to 18 rag picker women’s in Niramaya Clinic. After the lunch breaks a session on the personal, environmental hygiene and importance of education in life were conducted for kids. A drawing competition was held for the children. Three prize winning entries were selected and given tokens of appreciation

The overall response to the event was overwhelming with involvement of most of the local community. A formal address was made to the kids by the doctors and volunteers. Snacks, chocolates were distributed amongst children along with a dinner-set to each child as a gift. The event ended with a vote of thanks to all those who were involved.




World Aids Day (1st December)

Niramaya Health Foundation celebrated the HIV/AIDS week by lining a series of events from December 1st to 5th, 2010. Events like poster exhibition, quiz competitions, distribution of IEC – Information Education and Communication material were conducted in different areas during the week. We received an overwhelming response from all over, in terms of participation, cooperation and interest. Niramaya in collaboration with AVERT society conducts a program on HIV/AIDS with zari workers, the only one organization working for the unorganized sector in Mumbai. Under the teams’ guidance events of creating awareness were organized – a rally with HIV/AIDS posters, a street play performed by professionals and the team members as well, movie screening for workers, etc. the week went by with an amazing response from the community and a feeling of fulfillment to have contributed to the society in some way. Niramaya wishes to have a disease free society by doing its bit in the health sector.

Our Nashik project also marked this day by, organizing a huge rally in collaboration with GAVS (Gramin Arogya Vikas Sanstha) and K.B.H Vidayalaya, Kranjali in Nasik District on the 3rd of December 2010.

The rally saw in action, 700 students from the local school along with teachers and Niramaya team were participated. The rally was flagged off by the Dr Surjuse and contained posters, slogans and banners which were exhibited all through the route from the K.B.H Vidyalaya to the P.H.C and Gram panchayat Office grounds.

After the rally, the crowd gathered at the K.B.H Vidyalaya ground for the poster exhibition. The poster exhibition was inaugurated by the Sabhapati of Peth Taluka. The guests were felicitated and a formal address on the importance of the day and how community participation in such events help spread awareness on HIV/ AIDS was delivered by Dr Surjuse Nashik.

The overall reaction to the event was overwhelming with involvement of most of the local masses.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks to all those who were involved.


Niramaya’s celebration for Children’s Day and World Food Day.

The Birth Anniversary of Pandit Nehru is celebrated as Children’s Day for his love of children. Niramaya too followed the tradition by celebrating it for the community children on 16th Nov, 2010. Painting and poster exhibitions were organized which saw great response from the children and various child arts were displayed depicting the talents of all the kids. The mehandi competition received great participation from the girls aged 8 to 15 years. Small-time games were also conducted for smaller age group children. It was a fun-filled day for all the kids with singing and dancing as well by all of them. Niramaya specially thanks the Vishwamitra Mahila and Mitra Mandal for their support and cooperation. Kids were also rewarded with gifts who scored in the competitions to keep up the competitive spirit.

The World Food Day was celebrated on the same day by distributing Niramaya’s Nutrition Powder to each child in the community along with napkins, nail cutters and handkerchiefs reflecting the importance of personal hygiene, which is much important when it comes to food consumption. Children danced to the tune of new filmy numbers and the clinic staff also participated in it.

All thanks to Dr. Rahul Sonawane, the clinic in charge for conceiving such events to increase the community participation and keep up the enthusiasm of the staff at Niramaya!

Manohar (person looking behind), supervising the painting and the porter exhibition

Manohar (person looking behind), supervising the painting and the porter exhibition

Girls at the Mehandi competition

Girls at the Mehandi competition

Dr. Rahul Sonawane, clinic in charge, are seen rewarding the winners. Seen in the picture are Niramaya Health workers, Amit (holding a mike) and Sheeba (extreme right)

Dr. Rahul Sonawane, clinic in charge, are seen rewarding the winners. Seen in the picture are Niramaya Health workers, Amit (holding a mike) and Sheeba (extreme right)

Picnic for peers

A days trip was organized for the peers of the community, who help Niramaya for conducting health sessions in the community, important for our programs, as the programmatic activities try to focus on preventive medicine. Nov, 9th was the day when these peers along with three of our health workers, went to the Eliphanta Caves by taking water route from the Gateway Of India, in Mumbai.

It was a lifetime experience for all the peers as they had been in oblivion about the external world all these years. They captured photographs and lived their lives on that day! All the Niramayees are happy for them and wish them luck for their future endeavors.

Peeers, at the caves with Niramaya health workers, Sheeba (fourth from left), Chandrakant (second from right) and Sachin (extreme left)

Peeers, at the caves with Niramaya health workers, Sheeba (fourth from left), Chandrakant
(second from right) and
Sachin (extreme left)

Chandrakant and Sheeba (fist and second from left) with all the peers at the Gateway of India

Chandrakant and Sheeba (first and second from left) with
all the peers at the
Gateway of India


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