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About Us

SNEHA-INDIA started in 1994 as a small group of doctors and scientists interested in the possible link between India’s high rates of heart disease and diabetes and poor growth in early life. We became a registered charitable organisation in 1998. Our central office is in Mumbai. 



Our name SNEHA is a Hindi word meaning ‘love’ or ‘affection’. We intend this to convey the love and affiliation between a mother and her baby. The letters also spell out the essence of our objectives : Society for Natal Effects on Health in Adult life. This reflects our concern about the poor state of nutrition of many women and girls (future mothers) in our country, and its downstream effects : low birthweight, poor childhood growth and, we believe, unnecessarily high rates of adult disease. All mothers want to nourish their babies, in the fullest sense of the word. Our goal is that they have the knowledge and opportunity to do so.

As far as we know, SNEHA-INDIA is the first such organisation in the world. Many of us are actively conducting scientific research into the causes and consequences of low birthweight and childhood undernutrition. Others among us are trying to formulate ways of putting the research findings ‘into action’, to reduce low birthweight and childhood stunting, and improve adult health. We meet annually to update each other and discuss the way forward.

From the beginning, SNEHA-INDIA has had close links with the Medical Research Council Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, UK, where research first highlighted the disadvantages to adult health of poor growth in early life.



  • To study the impact of maternal, fetal and childhood factors on adult health and disease in India.
  • To discover safe and effective ways of improving the health and growth of the fetus and young child to get the best possible ‘start in life’.
  • To actively promote improvements in maternal, fetal and childhood health and nutrition in India, for their own sake, as well as for the expected benefits on adult health.
  • To increase public and government understanding of the importance of maternal, fetal and childhood well-being.
  • To train and encourage young Indian doctors and scientists to enter this field of research, and to join the international exchange of knowledge at the highest level.
  • To raise funds to support further research, training and the public and scientific dissemination of knowledge.


Our overall goals are : healthy and well informed mothers. Well grown babies & children and an adult population free from diseases such as coronary heart diseases and diabetes.