Children’s Hope India – Every Child Counts

Children's Hope Prayas, Delhi is one of the projects run by Children's Hope India

Children’s Hope Prayas, Delhi – (Photo Lavina Melwani)

Children’s  Hope India – Health, Education and Happiness

So many of us want to give back to our communities, to children in need, to fulfill a larger purpose but don’t quite know how. And sometimes, a thought, an idea germinates, grows and becomes a wonderful success, an answer to all the questions we have mulled over.

Back in 1992, my friend Dina Pahlajani, who is a physician, called me up. The idea she had was to somehow raise funds for children in need in India. We mused over starting an organization for children’s health and education in slums and rural India, where the need was so great. I loved the idea and we brainstormed for hours on the phone, discussing all our possible resources, our contacts and our abilities.  It was a leap into the dark, starting something from scratch, willing it to happen, to become a reality! The two of us along with three other women professionals co-founded Children’s Hope India,  each contributing $ 200 as seed money. Many were the days we sat at the kitchen table, planning out the strategies for Children’s Hope India, building on our resources and connections.

Twenty-three years later, several fundraisers and several trips to India later, we now have over 22 projects in India and raise $ 500,000 annually. We now have a board of nine members,  have support staff and are able to help 50,000 children, both in India and the US.

Educate India Gala Raises $ 1 Million

This year, I’m proud to add, we actually raised $ 1 million at our gala honoring Prakash Melwani, CIO of Blackstone. We have taken on an ambitious plan ‘Educate India!’ and I will be sharing the details of these exciting projects on our website

Fundraising in New York can have a wonderful ripple effect and translate into health camps, scholarships and education for children in the slums in India. Over the years, the supporter and donor base  has  grown, and Children’s Hope India has developed into a viable vehicle for promoting health and education in India. The funds raised have gone to carefully screened projects which the CH board supervises diligently, visiting projects and interacting with the children every year.

Smiling faces at a CH balwadi in Delhi, Children's Hope India

Smiling faces at a CH balwadi in Delhi (Photo: Lavina Melwani)

Children’s Hope India Inc is a 99% volunteer organization, with few overhead costs, and all funds raised go directly to the health and education projects. By working in collaboration with local non-governmental organizations, Children’s Hope has successfully funded health clinics, tuberculosis screening and heart surgery for children, established education initiatives and assisted with shelters for street children in major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Bhuj, Pune, Jabalpur and in many villages in Rajasthan and Tamilnadu.

Children’s Hope Prayas, started in 2004, covers an entire slum – Kathputli colony, on the outskirts of Delhi which has been transformed by CH initiatives such as informal education, nutritious meals, a health clinic, vocational training for the children, adult workshops and self help groups to facilitate micro-credit and income generation for the parents. There’s even a computer lab in the slums where children can start to realize their dreams and achieve their potential.

Children’s Hope also has a group for young professionals called CH2, which has fun fundraising events in New York, and CH 3 which brings high school students together to help children in need get a better future. We would love your feedback and your support so do participate!



Related Articles:

An Evening in Rajasthan
When Mumbai Came to Manhattan.


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!