The School of Social
Enterprise

In 2015, we set up School for Social Enterprise to share SSMI’s practical experience in delivering goods and services in the social sector. With over five decades of experience of working with under-privileged women and families and as innovators in the social sector, SSMI is ideally placed to build the capability of the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

How do we work?

  • Space to innovate: we provide space to study and experiment with alternative models of delivery, helping bridge the gap between theory and practice.
  • Provide Internships: we host Indian and foreign student interns giving them first hand experience of social issues, such as nutrition, education, health, female livelihood and NGO management.
  • Build capability: we provide training for NGOs, companies (Corporate Social Responsibility) and government and have offered consultancy services to the Government of India, the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman & Nicobar Administration.
  • Outreach: we conduct half-day social tours for those who want to familiarise themselves with the issues facing under-privilege groups.

Nutrition

The fight against malnutrition is a major flagship programme of SSMI and everyday we serve high quality food to over 17,000 women and children in the slums of Jehangirpuri, Madipur and Nawada in Delhi.

How do we work?

  • Take a local, decentralised approach: using our “Jehangirpur Model”, named after the slum area of our first kitchen, we take a holistic approach employing women from the community we serve and basing our kitchens in the midst of these communities. This has greatly increased the success of the programme, demonstrated transparency and enhanced food safety by minimising the distance and time needed to distribute the food;
  • Provide employment and training: and use appropriate technology to minimise drudgery. We have also formed self-help groups and provide training to help prepare local women to eventually take over the management of the kitchens.
  • Encourage and facilitate entrepreneurship: we’ve supported a small group of women to set up a school and staff canteen and run a “tiffin service” providing office lunches and catering for events. We also manufacture Earthspired products, which in turn supports small and marginal farmers with responsible sourcing of millet and amaranth grains.

What are the results?

For the past 14 years we’ve provided hot cooked food daily for 17, 000 children aged 1-6 years, pregnant and breast feeding women and adolescent girls; produced weaning food for infants from 6-18 months and prepared free hot lunches for 100 children in our pre-school. SSMI is part of Government of NCT of Delhi’s Integrated Child Development Scheme.

Putting down roots: our greenhouse
vegetable garden

Healthy multigrain food products

Training women, empowering women

Health

SSMI works in partnership with the R.P. Center for Ophthalmology at the All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Vision for All, a charity based in Switzerland to help the poor and needy receive medical care for eye problems. Accessing medical care for common eye conditions is beyond most people living in slums yet simple procedures can revolutionise the life of those suffering. In 10 years we’ve been able to help nearly 50,000 people.

How do we work?

  • Create awareness: by running eye health education sessions and distributing leaflets in slum clusters in West and North-West Delhi.
  • Run eye clinics twice a week in slums: bringing doctors directly into the slums to screen, treat or offer referral services for cataracts, refractive errors, glaucoma and Diabetic retinopathy and low vision problems and ensure follow up services.
  • Provide free eye tests for school children: and subside the cost of spectacles.
  • Train women: 20 women from the slum community in which we work are trained to provide pre and post operation care

What are the results?

Since 2010 we have helped:

Activities People cared for
Patients screened in camps and clinics 45, 631
Vision tests (Refractions) conducted 25, 188
Spectacles prescribed 20, 375
Spectacles dispensed 9, 615
Cataract surgeries conducted 1, 930
Students screened 32, 794

Education

We are passionate about education. Passionate about giving all children, whatever their background, a high quality and holistic education where talent is recognised and encouraged and no child is declared a “nalayak” (non-performer). SSMI provides seamless, free education for under-privileged children to over 1000 nursery, primary and secondary school age pupils. As an aided school, SSMI receives a government grant that partially funds our work.

How do we work?

  • Early years child care and education: the Balwadi (nursery) at SSMI cares for approximately 125 children whose families earn less than Rs.4000 per month. They are fed, taught self-care and good hygiene and receive regular health checks. We also run a six-month Balwadi Teacher Training course for bright girls who pass 10th class and live in the surrounding slums.
  • Primary school: our thriving primary school currently educates approximately 375 pupils and provides high quality academic learning as well as strong focus on sports, the arts and computing. We also provide special needs education for those with learning disabilities and behavioural problems.
  • Secondary school: with around 500 pupils, we provide high quality education to 10th Class, with 75% of pupils passing their 10th class examinations and a number of high achieving students. Students are also taught about health, hygiene, nutrition and life skills.
  • Teacher training: SSMI runs regular capacity building workshops for teachers from around Delhi based on Education Tool kIt specially developed by SSMI for schools run by NGOs.

What are the results?

Our pupils are motivated, curious about the world, take pride in themselves and have a strong work ethic. Their parents are engaged in their child’s education and want their children to attend school. As well as good academic results, our pupils have been rewarded in many competitive exams and sports. We are proud of all of our students.

Providing free education to over 1000 pupils each day

Speaking out on important issues: school poster competition

A child centred approach

Textiles

Today more than ever, women in India need to find their own path to financial freedom. In keeping with the vision of SSMI’s founder, we are committed to supporting local and migrant women to do just that. We train and employ women in our textiles department, helping them to learn a craft and create livelihoods for themselves.

How do we work?

  • Work with local communities: many migrants in Delhi are from traditional craft or artisan families who abandoned their trade due to lack of access to broader markets. We work to identify women with basic textile skills and offer retraining.
  • Provide vocational training at SSMI: women from low income families are trained in embroidery, block printing, tailoring, hand painting, or finishing, packaging and merchandising. And we provide training in villages located in West Delhi, enabling women to learn and supplement their family income in their own homes whilst fitting work around their family commitments.
  • Provide employment: we employ 55 people on a full or part time basis.
  • Encourage entrepreneurs: in 2012 we set up Subha, a micro social enterprise managed by the artisans at SSMI. We also produce products for Hindbag, a thriving French label and other local and international clients.

What are the results?

Our textiles department is going from strength to strength and we have a modest export market to France. We are exploring markets in other countries. We use the profits from our annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore to support the charitable work we do at SSMI.

Where can you find our products?

  • Follow us on Instagram @subha_room100
  • Please contact us at info@ssmi.in to arrange purchases
  • Or come and visit our shop at the SSMI site and campus in Punjabi Bagh! We can also be found at many of Delhi’s Melas

A thriving textiles social enterprise

Training women, empowering women

Contemporary elegant design

COLLABORATE. DONATE. VOLUNTEER.

COLLABORATE. DONATE. VOLUNTEER.

We need your help to make life better for the under-privileged women and
children we work with. Please consider volunteering with us, attending
a workshop or making a donation.