Cook for a Smile with Master Chef Vikas Khanna: Smile Foundation of India Launches its US Chapter


Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.” – JF Kennedy Established in 2002 by a group of well-established corporate professionals, who came together with the sole aim of giving back to society, Smile Foundation has always thought of its role as a catalyst in bringing sustainable change at the grassroots, by working effectively on the ground and encouraging civil society to be a part of the development process.

Beginning its journey with education as its core work area, the organization eventually realized that child education cannot be done in isolation, without ensuring the welfare of the family. A child will only go to school when her family is healthy; her parents, particularly the mother, are informed and empowered; and there is a sustainable source of income. Hence, over the years Smile Foundation has adopted a life-cycle approach of development, keeping children at the centre, focusing its interventions on not just children but their families and the larger community.

Girl child is an important part of all the centres of Smile Foundation’s welfare programmes – be it education, healthcare or livelihood. More than 10,000 girls are currently getting education at 120 of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centres in India. Besides this, another 1000 girls have been trained so far to become change agents in their respective communities, and over 300 have received scholarship to complete their higher education. In addition, Smile centres are providing nutrition to more than 21,000 children and their families in 21 states.


Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan, the Goodwill Ambassador of Smile Foundation launched “She Can Fly” campaign of the foundation recently – an initiative to create awareness about girl child education and empowerment. “I have been associated with Smile Foundation for the past five years and it’s great for me to be associated with a cause like this. Reason I am association with Smile Foundation is because I believe in it the most. Smile Foundation is doing excellent work and let’s support them in whatever way we can.” Said Ajay Devgan.

Five times Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna has been a very dedicated supporter of Smile Foundation and is also the Goodwill Ambassador for its ‘Nutrition for Education’ initiative. The campaign aims at combating the critical issues of hunger and malnutrition among children in India, and is currently providing nutrition to more than 21,000 children from 21 states.

Smile Foundation has been evaluated by some of the most reputed Indian and international evaluators including INTRAC London, KPMG, India Development Foundation, Give India and PRIA, and has come not only at par with their expectations and norms but has also been accredited with organizations such as CAF America, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (Govt. of India), Guidestar and United Way.

Smile Foundation has more than 200 welfare projects on the ground, spread across over 950 remote villages and slums in 25 states of India. These projects directly benefit more than 400,000 children and families. To take these initiatives further, Smile Foundation has launched its first US chapter in Houston, TX. “Houston has a large concentration of India related interests. There is a large Indian presence in the business, educational, medical and research institutes that is playing an important role in a rapidly changing India and contributing to it. We are looking forward to “Cook for a Smile” event with Chef Vikas Khanna in Jan ’17. ” said Jiten Agarwal, the president of USA chapter of Smile Foundation.