Location: : Kalwa informal settlement of Mumbai, India
LOCATION: Kalwa informal settlement (slum) in Mumbai, India
HEALTHY HOMES 2020 – present
The Healthy Homes Project piloted in the Bhaskar Nagar informal settlement in Kalwa by Humble Smile together with the Indian Dental Association and GPM, has three interlinked elements: 1) capacity building of community health workers, 2) organising women’s gatherings to increase knowledge on general health, women’s health, oral health, hygiene, nutrition and tobacco, 3) conducting homes visits to embed healthy practices, and 4) forming self-sustaining self help groups (SHGs).
Delivering temporary government grocery ration cards to Bhaskar Nagar families while lockdown permits.
HEALTHY SCHOOLS 2015 – 2020
Mumbai is home to 22 million people, and over 70% live in slums, many which have limited access to electricity, clean water, food, and basic education. On the border of Mumbai, Kalwa is a sprawling slum characterized by endemic poverty. It has become the home of many migrant populations from the villages in the province of Mumbai, Maharashtra, and in the northern provinces, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that are predominantly Hindu (Maharashtrians and Biharis) and Muslim.
Life in the slum is a challenging existence. Children’s schooling is often put off as parents struggle to balance the immediate needs for family survival over the need of a child to grow, develop, and study. Families in Kalwa live in highly critical circumstances and face daunting challenges to their health. Environmental factors, such as lack of access to water and dental services, and local harmful habits in oral self-care practices, the consumption of sugary foods and beverages, and tobacco usage, are important factors that put their health status at risk. Tooth decay, the major oral health concern of the inhabitants, causes severe pain and suffering among both children and adults. Poor oral health leads to adults losing days of work and to children losing days at school and difficulty concentrating.
Humble teams up with GPM’s ‘Eat to Learn’ nutritional program, making school a more attractive alternative to resist the pressure on children to work, allowing them to grow, develop and build a different life.
Local educators are trained as Humble Smile Fellows, qualified to sustainably promote oral health in schools.
The project extends to 20 villages upstate, where the children have never heard of a dentist, and don’t have their own toothbrush.
The bad news is that most of the kids had decayed teeth with no option for treatment. The good news is that they get a second chance at prevention with the eruption of their permanent teeth, thanks to Humble Smile Foundation’s Gabriel Smiles Healthy Schools Program, our partners Gabriel Project Mumbai, and our sponsors The Humble Co.