The Halcrow Foundation is funding the salaries of two doctors at the Savera Association medical centre in Delhi, India. This allows the centre to improve and expand medical services to patients living in some of the city’s poorest communities.

The Savera Association is an Indian non-governmental organisation focusing on primary healthcare, education and female empowerment. It was established in 1997 by a small group of women to improve the lives of people living in slum areas in Delhi. The organisation is based in an ex-municipal building and runs a medical outpatients’ centre, a pre-school and gives vocational training to local women, reaching over 400 people a day through its health and education programmes.

Improving medical services

The Halcrow Foundation is funding salaries for two doctors for a period of three years as they work at the Savera Association medical centre alongside trained nurses. The centre provides outpatient medical facilities and treats over 2,500 patients a month, mainly women and children. Dental, gynaecological, ophthalmic and other clinics are available at the centre and also through mobile vans that visit patients in the slums. With the Halcrow Foundation covering the doctors’ salaries, the Savera Association is able to spend more of its existing funds on increasing and improving medical services within some of the poorest communities in Delhi.

The Halcrow Foundation has supported the Savera Association since 2011, when it stepped in to meet a funding shortfall to provide medical care for 150,000 people living in slum areas. Since then the Halcrow Foundation has provided funds to help buy medicines, which are supplied at highly subsidised rates to patients who cannot afford the full cost, and enabled the centre to employ its much-needed second doctor.

Boosting education opportunities

In 2012 the Halcrow Foundation also provided funding for the Savera Association’s pre-school. The school brings young children’s education up to a basic standard to prepare them for attending government-run schools. Many parents living in slums are illiterate, so the school has been hugely successful in improving the community’s education opportunities. The school takes around 140 children at a time, and the Savera Association also sponsors around 25 of the very brightest of these children to go to private school, at a cost of around £100 per child per year which includes the costs of school uniforms and books.

By providing these health and education services where they are needed most, the Savera Association – supported by the Halcrow Foundation – continues to improve the quality of life for people living in desperately poor conditions and boosting employment prospects in a region where few other bodies provide such services in an effective and affordable way.

The Savera Association is a non-governmental, non-profit, voluntary organisation, which strives to bring light into the lives of these residents through a series of interventions aimed at empowering women and children.