HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) is a Delhi-based voluntary organization of health professionals, social scientists and lawyers, engaged in awareness, advocacy and research aiming to promote informed health activism among youth in India. HRIDAY works in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Government of India, World Health Organization (WHO), and non-governmental organizations of national and international repute. HRIDAY was awarded the WHO Director General’s Award for contributions to tobacco control in 2002. The programme has been listed as a ‘Best Practice Model’ and recommended for global replication by WHO.
HRIDAY was born in June 1992 as a response to India’s health transition, with altered living habits leading to rising burdens of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Community mobilization through health education was recognized as a key element in a comprehensive public health response to this transition and the youth, in particular, had to be guided towards healthy lifestyles and habits.
Since ‘HRIDAY’ means ‘heart’ in most Indian languages, it served as a useful acronym. The HRIDAY project was initiated by a group of health professionals at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, with the objective of disseminating information related to behaviours which influence health ( e.g diet, physical activity, avoidance of addictions like tobacco and alcohol) and the disorders caused by unhealthy behaviors (such as heart diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity), among school children.