Arogya World and RIST Partner to Empower 1.5 million Adolescents in India

Posted on: February 27th, 2024 by Arogya World


01 March 2024 – Arogya World received a significant gift of $1.05 million from Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST),to advance the health of adolescents in India at an event organized by India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) at Drexel Univ in Philadelphia.  This 3-year grant marks India Giving Day, an effort initiated by the IPA, and being implemented throughout the US, to increase giving to India causes and celebrate the joy of giving.

“We are grateful to RIST for their significant investment in India’s next generation.  This transformative gift, the biggest grant in the history of Arogya World, will help us scale our schools program, set India’s children up for a future of health and ensure a productive future workforce that can fuel India’s economic growth,“ said Dr Nalini Saligram, Founder & Board Chair, Arogya World.

“With this grant RIST is continuing our deep investment in systems change for India’s development, and to help the country get closer to meeting the SDGs. Arogya World is a long standing partner of ours and we are confident we will see meaningful results in this large-scale project,” said Paul Glick, Executive Director, Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST).

With this RIST grant, Arogya World will reach 1.5 million middle school kids, mostly in government schools in India, with its impactful school health program. A key hallmark of the project is to establish fidelity and effectiveness district-wide to pave the way for a potential state-wide scale-up in later phases.  Another important feature is to make the program sustainable by recognizing 100 schools in India as Arogya Schools, with the capacity to promote health in the school community long term.


The two-year Arogya program uses age-appropriate compelling games and activities to teach 11-14-year-olds the basics of healthy living, at an impressionable age, before their lifestyle habits are set.  This well-thought-through science-based effective program instills healthy living in middle school children in rural and urban India. It has shown >15% increase in awareness and about 10% improvement in behavior change. In COVID times, the content was digitized and deployed in >1 million kids through 2023, in traditional, digital, or hybrid modes in the school or community setting, mostly with support from RIST. Impact analysis of thousands of kids from 2015 to 2022 was done with the Stanford Center for Asian Health Research and Education (manuscript in preparation). District-wide implementing partners include Child in Need Institute(in 6 districts of West Bengal) and SRU Innovations (in Banda District of UP).  Initial curriculum design and a pilot study were done with Hriday, affiliated with the Public Health Foundation of India.



India is a diabetes capital with >100 million diabetics and 136 million pre-diabetics. However, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable with 3 lifestyle changes according to WHO and landmark clinical trials – one must eat right, increase physical activity, and avoid tobacco.  Prevention through healthy living is at the core of Arogya World’s work. Adolescents are a prime target for Arogya’s diabetes prevention efforts as adolescence is when lifestyle habits are acquired, and there are 250 million adolescents in India with about 10% of them already pre-diabetic.






Click here to read the press release:

About Arogya World

A non-profit organization, Arogya World (, a recipient of the prestigious 2022 UN Interagency Task Force and the WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care Award, has been working for more than a decade to prevent diabetes and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through health education and lifestyle change. Arogya World targets workplaces for chronic disease prevention because work is where so many people spend a large part of their day.


About Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST)

Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST) is dedicated to driving sustainable development and fostering positive social change across rural India through strategic investments and collaborative initiatives.


Click to read the coverage: