The Savera Association is an Indian non-governmental organisation (NGO), which was established in 1998 by 18 women in Delhi to improve the lives of people living in the slum areas in one part of the city. The women successfully lobbied to take over a slum development centre from Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD), and have been running a medical outpatients centre and a pre-school from the limited space they have in this building ever since. Most of the Savera Association’s funding comes from events organised by the same 18 female trustees who set up the NGO.
In 2011 the Halcrow Foundation stepped in, initially to meet a funding shortfall to help provide medical care for 150,000 residents living in five slum areas in Eastern Delhi. Since then, the Halcrow Foundation has provided financial support to the Savera Association medical centre, which provides vital services to some of the poorest people in the world.
Halcrow Foundation funds have been used to buy medicines and enable the centre to employ a much-needed second doctor. The medicines are supplied at a highly subsidised rate to patients who cannot afford to pay the full cost. This support ensures regular and reliable healthcare for a large and very poor community.
The medical centre also provides outpatient medical facilities, predominantly for women and children. The doctors and nurses, who work on both a paid and voluntary basis, see around 70 to 100 patients per day. Dental, gynaecological, ophthalmic and other clinics are available both at the centre and through mobile vans that visit patients in the slums.
In 2012 the Halcrow Foundation also provided funding for an existing local school. The school is run specifically for pre-school children, bringing their 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 supporting education awareness programmes for children and training for parents, the Savera Association – supported by the Halcrow Foundation – continues to improve the quality of life for people living in these desperately poor areas 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.