SNEHA. Mumbai, India

Improving health conditions of vulnerable urban women and children in slums


The Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA) is a non-profit organisation founded in 1996 to face issues of health of women and children in informal settlements, assuming in first instance that health as an essential issue for all.
SNEHA deals with four main issues: maternity care, child nutrition, violence against women and children, adolescence health, aiming trough their work to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, child malnutrition and gender-based violence.


  • 490+ person-strong organisation
  • 37,000 women assisted in pregnancy and high-risk deliveries
  • 25,000 children under age 5 prevented and treated from malnutrition
  • 8,214 women victims of domestic violence assisted through counselling and legal aid
  • 13,000 adolescents and youth (11-24 years) educated on fostering positive attitudes towards sexuality, gender-equity and preventive and promotive education on physical and mental health
  • 6,000 government health workers and police trained

Did you know?

The founder of SNEHA, Dr. Armida Fernandez was a neonatologist in a large important hospital located just next to Dharavi, one of the largest slums of Asia. Working with very sick babies and mothers coming from there, she realized that prevention and education could save more lives. She decided then to cross the wall separating the hospital from Dharavi and created SNEHA for these population.
Before that, in 1989, she set up a human milk bank in Sion Hospital, the first of its kind in Asia, for all babies to have human milk.

Sustainability and Replicability

Through their work in the Community Centres, through research, monitoring and evaluation, and through the use of technology, SNEHA’s goal is to break the intergenerational cycle of poor health among women and children living in vulnerable settlements. So far, +20 programs are being implemented in Mumbai and across Maharashtra and other states, and the organisation creates partnerships with governmental and non-governmental entities to reach a maximum of people.

Lessons learned

Healthy development requires a continuum of care. This means working with women and children from birth to adulthood in order to break the intergenerational cycle of poor health and gender-based violence.

Take action

Learn more about SNEHA, and interact and exchange to be aware of their work.

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