Aboutus | Desh Health

About Us

Deepam Educational Society for Health (DESH), a national level, non-profit, Mother NGO, was founded in 1991 as a registered Society, with 80G. DESH started its health movement through counselling services and STI/HIV/AIDS control programs in slums, industries and educational institutions. Moving on to Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programs in two decades, DESH served various sub sets of beneficiaries, facilitating the journey of thousands of individuals towards safer lifestyle. Empowering women to make them agents for social change is the greatest lead DESH has adopted.

DESH presents a spectrum of its services which can be of interest to the donor community, consisting of Corporate World, Government Bodies, International Houses and Philanthropists looking for partnership. For the donors, such partnerships can bring benefits like good will, advocacy, visibility, employee welfare and society’s appreciation. A prospective donor can choose a specific program and design, as described below:

Social Health Education-SHE; Youth in and out of school; Women and Families; Migrant Workers and High Risk Groups; Counseling and Testing Services; Promoting Health in Villages; Knowledge-transfer partnership/training; Evaluation and Research; Developing Communication Materials.

Governing Committee

Governing Committee Office Bearers
• Prof. M. S. Swaminathan – Patron.
• Dr. Saraswathi Sankaran – Chairperson.
[Founder Chairman was former Chief Secretary of TN Government: Mr. T.V. Antony I.A.S., Second Chairman was Mr.Karthikeyan I.A.S.; Third Chairman was Mr.N.Vaghul, ICICI; and Fourth Chairman was Mr. V. R. Sankaran, Founder, DESH].
• Col R. Hariharan VSM Retd – Secretary and Treasurer.

National:Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (GoI); National AIDS Control Organization (NACO); State AIDS Control Societies (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi); CAPACS; Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative (TAI-VHS); India HIV/AIDS Alliance; TATA TRUSTS; and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd.;

International: UNICEF; USAID; CEBEMO/MEMISA; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Mac Arthur Foundation; CARE India; CESVI; Engender Health Society; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) & Dubai Port World (DP World), Chennai.


    • • SKOCH Challenger Award for Social Inclusion, 2017.
    • • Polestar Award for Social Impact, 2017.
    • • Member of National Health Mission-TN-State NGO selection committee, 2017.
    • • ALL Grassroots Women of the Decade Achievers Award, 2014.
    • • Peaks Achievers Award - National Integrity Cultural Academy, 2009.
    • • Certificate of Honour by Govt. Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, 2008 .
    • • Member of National AIDS Council & Working Group for Youth and Gender, 2005.
    • • Rajiv Gandhi Rashtriya Ekta award, National Awareness Forum, 2004 .
    • • State Award "Best Social worker in HIV/AIDS for the year, 2003.
    • • Nehru Yuva Kendra State Award for DESH for Youth, 2003 .

Dr. Manmohan Singh: “There is a saying that no power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come. The pioneering work undertaken by DESH points to the immense potential that exists in mobilizing local communities in social health education and in prevention of dreadful diseases like AIDS. … outstanding work … since its inception.”

WHAT WE DO – Social Health Education for Public Health
Through DESH we enhance social skills and life skills to bring about attitudinal and behavioural change. We mobilize communities with prevention and intervention programs, utilizing cultural factors rather than biological factors to improve their health seeking behaviour.

SHE (Social Health Education) programs – Three phases:

  1. Information and Awareness
    Provide Facts; Remove Myths and Misconceptions
  2. Empowerment with Accountability
    Minimize At-Risk Behaviour; Maximize Responsible Behaviour
  3. Collective / Community Action
    Involve Individuals and Groups; Facilitate a Movement


DESH has reached out directly to 3,226,328 persons and indirectly to several millions in communities spread in 21 States and 2 Union Territories.