Bhubaneswar: In what was a crowning moment in an illustrious career spanning more than 15 years, Santanu Mishra, Co-founder and Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation and one of Odisha’s most-favoured sons,was recognised by His Holiness The Dalai Lama for his efforts as a social volunteer and leader. Mr. Mishra received a glowing endorsement from the globally-renowned humanitarian and Tibetan spiritual leader at the launch of Smile Foundation’s ‘The World of Children’ in New Delhi on November 19, 2017. His Holiness also pledged to support the cause taken up by Smile foundation aimed at upliftment of underprivileged children through education, which is aimed at enabling children from various socioeconomic backgrounds to discuss their issues, challenges, and ideas with each other, as well as youth icons and inspirational leaders from the world over.
Hailing from Sambalpur in Odisha, Mr. Mishra is no stranger to accolades and recognition. His pioneering work in the field of social responsibility in India has often seen him acknowledged as a champion of pressing social causes such as child empowerment, equal opportunity, and social equality.Belonging to a culture steeped in volunteerism and social responsibility, Mr. Mishra’spassion for creating a social change and adding value back to the society saw him bringing a group of likeminded professionals together to establish Smile Foundation in 2002. An alumnus of IIM Ahemdabad and a Company Secretary quit his highly-successful corporate career at its peak in 2005, choosing instead to dedicate his energies to establish Smile Foundation as one of the most successful development organization in India.
Speaking on the endorsement from one of the world’s leading humanitarians, Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-founder & Executive Trustee – Smile Foundation, said, “Having been raised in an environment where volunteering and social responsibility are ingrained from a very young age, I believe that uplifting those less privileged can never be achieved unless the more privileged sections take up a proactive role in the process of development. This is the change that we have been driving through Smile Foundation since its inception. To be recognised and endorsed by a globally reveredhumanitarian such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama for our efforts is a very welcome shot in the arm for us, and personally motivates me to raise the bar even higher and continue to drive a positive change at the grassroots level.”
Under Mr. Mishra’s able leadership and guidance, Smile Foundationannually reaches out to more than 400,000 underprivileged children, youth, and women directly through more than 250 welfare projects covering areas such as education, healthcare, youth employability, and women empowerment.The development organization is present across 25 states in India and has won many accolades and awards, including include Asia Pacific Child Rights Award, Healthcare Leadership Award, Barclay’s Bank Chairman Award, and GE Healthcare-Modern Medicare Excellence Award, amongst others. It has also pioneered the principles of good governance amongst non-profits and the innovative concept of Social Venture Philanthropy (SVP) in order to enable other grassroots organization to achieve accountability, scalability, sustainability, and leadership.