The Soondra Foundation Provides Grants to People in India with Limited Access to Healthcare

The Soondra Foundation Provides Grants to People in India with Limited Access to Healthcare
Photo credit: T. Yardley
Dr. Gayatri Mathur, CEO and founder of Soondra Foundation, grows impact to support India’s working poor who don’t have access to healthcare

Imagine the despair of not being able to take your child to the doctor when they have a fracture. This is the harrowing reality many working poor Indians face.  Dr. Gayatri Mathur founded the Soondra Foundation based on the belief that everyone has the right to see a doctor and to receive necessary medical care. Currently, there are over 300 million people in India who have minimal access to healthcare services. These daily wage earners face the risk of their medical emergency leading to financial catastrophe and intergenerational poverty.

The Soondra Foundation works with Indian NGO partners to provide grants directly to cover emergency medical expenses immediately, where and when they are needed. Their partners include Teach for India, Milaan Foundation, and Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation, who help with last mile delivery of Soondra’s grants through accountable, grass roots networks. 

The Soondra Foundation was created to help daily wage earners, people who work as household help, construction workers, rickshaw drivers, and daily-wage tradespeople. Dr. Gayatri Mathur, CEO, shares, “The working poor in India making between $3-5 per day do not have any rainy-day savings. In India, everyone must pay before they receive treatment.” Dr. Mathur continues, “At the Soondra Foundation, we believe health equity is a basic human right, and we provide the means for people to see a doctor during emergencies.”

Soondra has helped families who have experienced many medical emergencies such as pneumonia, dengue fever, tuberculosis, typhoid, blood cancer, fractures, burns, motor vehicle accidents, and more. They have supported hundreds of families to get lifesaving medical help for emergencies and have prevented disabilities and financial collapse into intergenerational poverty.

Along with providing direct cash grants for healthcare access, Soondra assisted over 10,000 families during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing them with essential food rations such as rice, daal (lentils), flour, salt, sugar, oil, soap, and sanitary napkins. They also offered extended support to families of patients with TB as adequate nutrition is essential for TB treatment.

Through Soondra’s model, a little help goes a long way. For the price of a t-shirt, they can help a child prevent a lifelong disability after a fracture. With investment, they can scale rapidly to increase impact from helping hundreds of families to thousands of families.

The foundation was incubated at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Exchange. The foundation values mentoring the next generation of social leaders, and undergraduate and graduate student interns are vital to their operations. This year they are launching a novel pilot program for improving healthcare for 600 school children in rural India.

Dr. Gayatri Mathur, CEO, says, “One of our first grantees slipped in her slum during the monsoons and had a complicated thigh fracture while she was in high school. We paid for her surgical treatment with a pin and plate.  If there had been no treatment, this could become a life-changing disability. Today she is in her final year of college and studying R and Python, on her way to becoming a successful member of the workforce.”

About the Soondra Foundation

The Soondra Foundation provides healthcare access through innovative direct cash grants to India’s working poor who are making $3-5/day for a medical emergency. They provide a financial bridge because they believe that everyone has the right to see a doctor regardless of socioeconomic status.

For more information on the Soondra Foundation, please visit:

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Company Name: The Soondra Foundation
Contact Person: Anjali Mirmira
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Country: United States