HRIDAY – SHAN (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth – Student Health Action Network) is a voluntary organisation of health professionals and social scientists, engaged in activities aiming to promote health awareness and informed health activism among school and college students in India, since 1992. HRIDAY- SHAN works in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, to promote health awareness and informed health activism among youth in India. It has been recipient of research/programme grants from National Institutes of Health (USA), World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA), Research for International Tobacco Control (Canada), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Government of India (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) and has been 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.
The school and community based health education programmes of HRIDAY- SHAN have been successful in inculcating healthy lifestyle practices among Indian youth (results evaluated and published). Informed health advocacy by youth is an innovative component which has helped to catalyse health action in tobacco control. Through the HRIDAY-SHAN programme, schools have also become portals of health education for neighbourhood communities.