About us

Deepam Educational Society for Health (DESH), is a well-known Non-Governmental Organization, registered in 1991, covered under section 12A and 80G of Income Tax Act and FCRA. DESH’s Founder and Chairperson, Dr. Saraswathi Sankaran, a Sociologist specialized in lifestyle analysis, was motivated to initiate prevention work in HIV/AIDS, based on what she had seen and experienced during her stay in Tanzania, Africa, during the mid-eighties, and was convinced about the potential threat this epidemic held for India. This was at a time when India believed that this epidemic would not affect this country. She has worked for over two decades as a counsellor in areas of "Level of Living", "Welfare", "Alcoholism" and "Drug Abuse".

DESH's main objective is to promote health and well-being by imparting Social Health Education (SHE), emphasizing the enhancement of social skills and life skills. DESH empowers individuals to develop “Mental Arsenal” by using Mental Vaccination and Thinking Tool to counter unhealthy peer pressure. DESH uses innovative concepts, interactive training modules and educational materials, effectively establishing health movements to facilitate the journey of thousands of individuals towards safer and healthier lifestyle. Over the last 27 years DESH has built infrastructure with offices Pan India and a training centre impacting millions of individuals. DESH uses transformational learning approaches to effect lasting attitudinal and behavioral change.

Physical Vaccination
Mental Vaccination
Frameshift - “1-4-12 transformational model”

DESH uses the “1-4-12 Transformational Model” as a pedagogic methodology in the program. The “1-4-12 Transformational Model” views that each attitude that needs to be changed requires

  • One “Frame shift”, followed by
  • Four Life Practices (to be inculcated for Frame shift to set in)
  • Twelve Action Steps (three each for the four Life Practices) that need to be followed
  • 01. Awareness
  • 02. Empowerment
  • 03. Accountability
  • 04. Action and
Governing committee office bearers
  • Prof. M. S. Swaminathan – Patron;
  • Dr. Saraswathi Sankaran – Chairperson;
  • Chairman I - Mr. T.V. Antony I.A.S., Former Chief Secretary of TN Government;
  • II - Mr.Karthikeyan I.A.S.; III - Mr.N.Vaghul, ICICI; and IV - Mr. V. R. Sankaran, Founder, DESH
  • Col R. Hariharan VSM Retd – Secretary and Treasurer.
  • Range of Services
    • Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
    • Empowerment of Women through Self-help Groups (SHGs)
    • Health Action Program for Progress of Youth (HAPPY)
    • Prevention of Substance Use/Abuse
    • Barefoot Counseling & Home Based Care
    • Research and Capacity Building
    • Interactive Voice Response System
    • Static and Mobile Clinic Services
    • Control and Care of RTI/STI/HIV/TB
    • Targeted Intervention for Marginalized Population (FSW/MSM/TG) and Truckers
    • Road Safety; Prevention of Drunken Driving
    • Workshops in Industries
    What we do – Social Health Education (SHE) for Public Health

    Information alone will not translate to change in behaviour. DESH lays maximum emphasis on the "self-empowerment model" which is the crucial component in bringing about an attitudinal change and behaviour modification. This includes training in life-skills to motivate people make informed decisions to protect their health. It underlines the power of positive assertion and the strength to say "NO" to unhealthy influences. The outcome of the first two phases would be a group of informed and empowered people who will be able to form powerful action groups to collectively work for the community in the third phase. Accordingly the programs are implemented in three phases, as follows:

    Phase 1:

    Information and Awareness - IA

    • Provide facts
    • Dispel myths and misconceptions
    Phase 2:

    Empowerment with Accountability - EA

    • Minimize at-risk behavior
    • Maximize responsible behavior
    Phase 3:

    Collective / Community Action - CA

    • Involve individuals and groups
    • Facilitate a movement