SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action)

SNEHA works towards improving health, nutrition and safety of women, children and adolescents living in marginalised communities of urban India

  • Gold Certified 2023
  • FCRA
  • 80G
  • 12A
  • CSR-1
Transparency Rating:
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  • Headquarters

    Mumbai, Maharashtra

  • Since


SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) is a secular, Mumbai-based non-profit organization founded in 1998 by a group of leading Ne Read moreonatologists, headed by Dr. Armida Fernandez, former Dean of one of Mumbai’s leading public hospitals. SNEHA strives to improve the health, nutrition and safety of women and children, living in the most vulnerable urban informal settlements. Mission: We work in partnership with communities and health systems building effective and replicable solutions, empowering women and their families in urban slums to improve their health. SNEHA works across four large public health areas: 1. Maternal and Child Health 2. Adolescent Health 3. Prevention of Violence against Women and Children 4. Health Systems Strengthening


In India nearly 35,000 women die every year due to pregnancy and child-birth related complications. 57% women of reproductive age (15-49 years) are estimated to be anaemic. 33% of the disease burden among adults (young parents or to be parents) in India is attributed to unhealthy habits during adolescence. Globally 1 in 3 women and girls are affected by violence and 32% of ever-married women in India have reported partner violence. Rapid urbanisation and overburdened infrastructure creates low accessibility and affects quality of health and nutrition services in urban informal settlements. Most of the above issues are preventable and are mainly due to the lack of awareness of healthy practices and poor access to quality healthcare services. Source: National Health Family Survey-5, World Health Organization 2017


SNEHA’s integrated life-cycle approach seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poor health, a major by-product of poverty and deprivation. Our continuum of care approach intervenes at critical junctures: preconception, pregnancy, childbirth, post natal, early childhood and adolescence, to bring about improvements in health and nutrition of women and children. SNEHA uses a two-pronged approach across its programs: we work with vulnerable communities, to improve health-seeking behaviour and awareness of health services; we also work extensively with public health systems and health-care providers to improve service delivery through training, capacity building, data sharing and advocacy.


SNEHA has worked directly with 406,000 women and children and indirectly reached a population of 1.68 million across Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) during the years 2016-23. Key Impact: - Assisted 42,595 pregnant women with potential complications, - Reduced stunting (by 27%) and underweight (by 17%), both forms of malnutrition among children aged 0-2 years from 2019 to 2022 (baseline-endline survey). - Improvement in maternal dietary diversity (40%) and contraceptive prevalence rate (34%) from 2019-22 in SNEHA Centre - Uptake of public health (70%) and nutrition services (132%) have shown substantial improvement highlighting positive health seeking behavior. - 95% health facilities across seven Municipal Corporations in MMRDA are referring maternal high risk cases to higher health facilities using comprehensive referral slips developed in partnership with health facilities by SNEHA - 84% health posts and Urban Primary Health Centers (UPHCs) across the seven Municipal Corporations have been providing essential 9 core services required for Antenatal Care (ANC)

Vision & Mission

Vision - Healthy Women and Children for a Healthy Urban World

Mission - We work in partnership with communities and health systems building effective and replicable solutions, empowering women and their families in urban slums to improve their health.

Donor History

University College of London, Morgan Stanley, Epic Foundation, H T Parekh Foundation, Cipla Foundation


  • Prevention of Violence against Women and Children

    Working with communities and public systems to address gender-based violence at the individual, community, institutional and policy levels.

    Awareness campaigns, crisis intervention, counseling, mental health interventions, legal support, training and sensitization of public systems staff

    The program works with women and children survivors of violence and with communities residing in informal urban settlements of Mumbai. The program’s aim is to provide access to protection and justice through counselling centres. The program works with government, including health facilities, police and free legal services, to reinforce their roles in ensuring basic social, civil and economic security for women in informal settlements.

  • Romila Palliative Care

    Supporting patients and families suffering from life-limiting illnesses through facility and home-based care.

    Medical and psychological support to patients and families through facility and home-based care, caregiver support and grievance support from a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, counsellors and other specialists.

  • Empowerment, Health and Sexuality of Adolescents (EHSAS)

    Addressing the health and wellbeing of young people (aged 10-21 years) in urban informal settlements.

    Interventions include group education sessions on:
    - General health and nutrition
    - Sexual and reproductive health, including menstrual hygiene
    - Gender equity
    - Emotional resilence (to address mental health)
    - Citizenship

  • Public Systems Partnership

    Promoting maternal health and safe deliveries for women in vulnerable settlements.

    Key interventions:
    - Strengthening primary healthcare
    - Establishing and facilitating a maternity referral network
    - Forming community health committees for informed action.

  • Maternal and Child Health

    The aim of the program is to improve the health and nutritional status for women and children in urban informal settlements through Continuum of Care approach. We believe in developing local, context specific and sustainable solutions which can be gradually taken over by the systems (Health and Nutrition) and community stakeholders.

    Key interventions across the "First 1000 Days" of the baby's life (from conception to child's second birthday) include - ensuring access to antenatal care, focusing on exclusive breastfeeding in first 6 months of the baby's life, infant and young child feeding practices, maternal anemia reduction, planned parenthood, and early childhood development.

Impact Metrics

  • Reached Adolescents to Address Key Health Issues, Emotional Resilience, Sex, Gender and Civic Education

    Program Name

    Empowerment, Health and Sexuality of Adolescents (EHSAS)

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2018-19 4092
    • 2019-20 3847
    • 2020-21 3620
  • Assisted Married Women of Reproductive Age (Mwra)

    Program Name

    Sneha Centres Programme

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2018-19 1811
    • 2019-20 5321
    • 2020-21 5411
  • Assisted High Risk Pregnant Women With Potential Complications

    Program Name

    Public Systems Partnership

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2018-19 13112
    • 2019-20 5912
    • 2020-21 2429
  • Reduction in Stunting (Height for Age) Among Children 0-2 Years

    Year-wise Metrics
  • To Improve Full Immunization Rates in Children 12-23 Months

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Anemia in Pregnant Women

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Complete Documentation of Maternity Referral Slips

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Increase in Appropriate Referrals of Maternity Cases

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Increase in Municipal Health Posts Providing 9 Core Antenatal Services

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Reported Reduction in Violence

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Reported Reduction in Depression

    Year-wise Metrics
  • Reported Reduction in Anxiety

    Year-wise Metrics
  • %Age Reduction in Stunting (Height for Age) Among Children 0-2 Years

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 3700
    • 2020-21 3000
    • 2021-22 2700
  • %Age Improvement in Full Immunization Rates in Children 12-23 Months

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 6900
    • 2020-21 6300
    • 2021-22 7600
  • Anemia in %Age of Pregnant Women

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 4400
    • 2020-21 3800
    • 2021-22 3400
  • %Age Completion of Documentation of Maternity Referral Slips

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 80
    • 2020-21 7000
    • 2021-22 8300
  • %Age Increase in Appropriate Referrals of Maternity Cases

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 80
    • 2020-21 83
    • 2021-22 8500
  • %Age Increase in Municipal Health Posts Providing 9 Core Antenatal Services

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 6700
    • 2020-21 6600
    • 2021-22 9100
  • Reported %Age Reduction in Violence

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 70
    • 2020-21 76
    • 2021-22 88
  • Reported %Age Reduction in Depression

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 80
    • 2020-21 7800
    • 2021-22 7900
  • Reported %Age Reduction in Anxiety

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 82
    • 2020-21 7800
    • 2021-22 82

Theory of Change

We do not have a Theory of Change for the organization. All our programs have their individual Theories of Change. If needed, we can share that.

Milestones & Track Record

Reach (2016-22):
- 48608 Pregnant women with potential complications assisted through referral networks
- 8707 children under the age of 6 screened for malnutrition per month on an average
- 8160 youth reached through life-skills and health education programs
- 24420 survivors of violence counselled for psycho-social support and advanced mental health counselling
- 4765 Mumbai police personnel trained to respond to survivors of violence

Impact (2021-22):
- 86% of survivors of violence accessing counselling services reported a reduction and violence and distress level
- 13% improvement in institutional deliveries in Bhiwandi (Up from 69% to 78%) (2020-22)
- 27% reduction in stunting among children from 0-2 years (reduction from 37% to 27%) in Govandi & Mankhurd (2019-22)
- 97% of the adolescent girls in our intervention areas, now use hygienic absorbents during menstrual cycle

Donor Testimonial

Cipla Foundation (Anurag Mishra - Head)
The Cipla Foundation has been supporting SNEHA's work since 2006 and specifically their work on maternal and child health (RMNCH) since 2014. SNEHA primarily specializes in working in vulnerable informal urban settlements of Greater Mumbai region. During our association with SNEHA we have been impressed with:
a) Their strong technical knowledge on RMNCH, backed by medical and public health expertise of the team
b) Their systematic approach to programming, using processes, protocols validated by public systems and well researched IEC material enables them to show positive results
c) Their electronic documentation using Commcare system enables data backed interventions and decision making which ultimately improves program outcomes
d) Their repository of quantitative and qualitative research on RMNCH, including several
publications in peer reviewed journals

We believe SNEHA will be able to positively contribute to community development projects, given an opportunity.

Mariwala Health Initiatives (Mangala Honawar - Lead - Grants)
Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI) has been supporting SNEHA for its Empowerment Health and Sexuality of Adolescents (EHSAS) project in Dharavi between April 2019-March 2022. A key component of the program is the delivery of mental health services through community workers. EHSAS also has a strong linkage to the public health system. The program works with young people from informal settlements and has a strong community focus.

As the intervention period coincided with the COVID pandemic, this has been instrumental not only for the primary target group, but also for their families in coping with the fallouts of the lock down period and navigating social isolation and distancing.

The ecosystem approach adopted by SNEHA has been key in building perspective among parents, the community and public systems (such as the police, healthcare providers and civic representatives) on issues faced by adolescents. MHI is glad to support this psycho-social approach to mental health.

Leadership Team

  • Vanessa D'Souza

    Chief Executive Officer

  • Dr. Shanti Pantvaidya

    Executive Director

  • Archana Redkar

    Chief Operating Officer

Demographics & Structure

  • No. of Employees


  • Strength of Governing Body


  • Diversity Metrics

    81% women


  • Internal, External Assessors



  • Ethics and Transparency Policies


  • Formal CEO Oversight & Compensation Policy


Political & Religious Declarations

  • On Affiliation if any


  • On Deployment Bias if any


Organisation Structure

Organisation Structure


Awards & Recognitions

- Tejaswini award by Earth NGO for Prevention of Violence against women and children programme, 2021
- Winner - Urban Nutrition Category for Child Health and Nutrition Programme (Aahar)
- Social Innovation and Iconic Leadership Award - World CSR Congress 2016
- Best Film - Health and Sanitation Category, World CSR Congress 2016
- Hindustan Times Changemaker for Mumbai Award 2015
- Ahtesab Humanity Award 2015
- Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Awards 2014

Registration Details

  • PAN Card


  • Registration ID


  • 12A


  • 80G


  • FCRA


  • CSR Registration Number



  • Headquarters

    Behind Building No. 11, BMC Colony Shastri Nagar, Santa Cruz West, Mumbai, 400054

  • Offices in Cities

Other Details

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Financial Details

 Income / Expenses
  • 2018-19

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  • 2019-20

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  • 2020-21

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  • 2021-22

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Government Partnerships

Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Maharashtra