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The HEART Principle is the foundation of Protsahan’s Art Based Program to address trauma in children.

Protsahan's HEART Program

location_on New Delhi, India
The HEART Program is a unique arts & technology based model of working with adolescent girls from underserved communities who are at risk or are survivors of abuse. Elements of the program work cohesively to break the inter-generational cycle of childhood abuse and poverty with Holistic Healing (of Abuse & Trauma), Education, Art interventions for Life Skills training, Recovery, and Technology.
Sonal Kapoor, Founder-Director
The success of SDG Vision 2030 depends on our decision to invest in adolescent girls through digital & art innovation through the lens of intersectionality for her enhanced agency.

Sonal Kapoor, Founder-Director


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2022

HundrED 2021

HundrED 2020

Visual Arts in Education

Key figures

Innovation Overview

8 - 18
Age Group
28 000
1 516
Updated on June 30th, 2022
about the innovation

Healing The Trauma of Child Abuse Through Creative Arts & Technology

Why Does Protsahan Exist?

Protsahan is a Hindi word that literally translates to Encouragement.

In the neighborhood where Protsahan’s Center of Excellence was established in 2010, a large population of young adolescent girls (0.4 million) has been completely neglected by the parents and the community. 83% girls did not have access to safe learning spaces, psychosocial counseling services, creative life skills, access to information & internet, quality education, toilets, clean drinking water, proper nutrition, or adequate healthcare.  Parents prefer to spend money on the sons instead of daughters because it is considered that only sons would grow up to assume financial responsibility of the family, and bring in dowry when they get married. Daughters, the parents believe, cost them dowry at the time of their wedding and leave homes after marriage, and hence they don’t invest in their education, healthcare, or empowerment at all. They are married as child brides so that parents have to spend less on the dowry or education. These factors combine into a very explosive situation for the girls with as many as 89% girls reporting sexual violence before they turned 12 in the urban slum communities where we work. Protsahan believes that a sustainable solution lies in understanding this intersectionality which is pertinent to empowering the agency of an adolescent girl who gets constantly disempowered at every step of her life. This philosophy is the foundation of our HEART principle - Holistic Healing (of Abuse & Trauma), Education, Art interventions for Life Skills training, Recovery, and Technology.

To address this situation and give agency to the adolescent girls, Protsahan India Foundation works with vulnerable and at-risk populations of adolescent girls using the creative power of Arts and Technology to:

  • Empower adolescent girls and promote gender equity 
  • Promote life skills among adolescent girls based on our H.E.A.R.T. work model
  • Promote menstrual health & hygiene, and educate adolescent girls about sexual & reproductive health 
  • Promote mental & physical health and well being, prevent and heal the trauma of child abuse by transforming broken childhoods and adolescence into educated, psychologically healed & financially empowered women 

We work directly with girls at our center in Delhi to usher them into a dignified adulthood with non-negotiable high school education, and life skills that lead them towards psycho-social and socio-economic stability. We also work directly with school teachers through strategic partnerships and collaborations across the country that impact more than 28000 adolescent girls each year.

What Would Happen If Protsahan Did Not Exist?

If Protsahan did not exist, the girls in this community would not have had access to education, resources and knowledge about menstrual health & hygiene, personal safety, life skills, or reproductive health and rights.

  • 828 girls would have ended up in extremely vulnerable situations as child brides, victims of incest and child sexual abuse, out of school, and completely devoid of healthy adolescence.
  • All of these girls now have access to trauma informed compassionate care through arts, support for school enrollment and academics, access to learning computers, toy libraries, martial arts, family counseling to keep them in school and continue with higher education, psycho-social counseling, healthcare, and nutrition. 84% of these girls have shown a marked increase in their school results, improved learning outcomes, and are becoming truly empowered. 
  • 28000 girls would not have been reached each year and made aware about menstrual health & hygiene, sexual & reproductive health & rights, and child protection services. They would not have gone on to make powerful cinema (feature length films) and curate issue based photo exhibitions that shook their communities out of apathy towards adolescent girls and take concrete action towards building toilets, reporting child abuse on 1098 national helpline, enrolling them in schools, and delaying the age of marriage from 13 to 21.
  • 1200 teachers would not have been mobilized as child rights ambassadors who currently work with different health and education focused organizations in the country. Protsahan has reached out to them through specific child protection training workshops that focus on POCSO Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act), CSA, and the intersectionality between child protection and child development. 
  • Each year, 120-200 girls from most vulnerable backgrounds would not have access to life skills training at Protsahan which includes personal safety education (good touch bad touch and training against child sexual abuse), critical & creative thinking, everyday problem solving & decision making, effective communication & social skills, interpersonal relationships, coping with emotions & stress, self awareness & self-worth, greater participation in governance, entrepreneurship development, leadership building & social enhancement, ease of accessing digital services, awareness of rights & entitlements, financial inclusion, mentorship & career counseling etc. 

These girls come from one of the most underserved communities in the national capital of India, consisting mostly of migrant families from remote parts of the country. 

At the center, each of our girls has access to a safe learning space, quality life skills education and academic support through high school, proper nutrition, basic healthcare, clean drinking water, clean toilets, knowledge on menstrual hygiene and menstrual pads as per her requirements, and a space to realize her self-worth through the creative power of arts & technology with trauma informed compassionate care. 


HundrED Academy Review

The video is outstanding. It provides a clear picture of the purpose of the innovation. The idea addresses trauma in a creative way for adolescent girls. The arts are used in way that empowers girls to help them find their voices.

- HundrED Academy Member

Really love this idea. It is needed and can be adapted in other countries. There is real research that helps to show how effective the program is.

- HundrED Academy Member
Protsahan addresses a clear need to help vulnerable girls in rural India through art & technology education. The impact of their program is clear from the success stories of the girls that they have worked with and also breaking the inter-generational cycle of childhood abuse. The positive effects of this program are plentiful.
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Achievements & Awards

November 2021
HundrED 2022
December 2020
Visual Arts in Education
May 2019
Innovation page created on
March 2019
Web Wonder Women Award - Ministry of Women & Child Development, Govt. of India
December 2018
10 Women Who Smashed Stereotypes & Empowered Thousands - The Better India
April 2017
Harvard (HGSE) applauds Protsahan’s Work Model
June 2016
BBC Documentary on Protsahan Girls
April 2015
BD Foundation & Barclays PLC Young Trailblazer Award
March 2015
Uma Jain Award - Rotary Club of Bombay
April 2014
FICCI Women Achiever’s Award
August 2013
UN Women & Master Card $25000 Global Award
March 2012
Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Social Entrepreneurship Award
December 2011
World Bank-IMF recognizes Protsahan’s work

Spread of the innovation

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Empathize with every girl child who comes to Protsahan.
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Creative Engagement
Gauge the interest of the child through art interventions.
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Bridge Course
Prepare the child for age-appropriate classroom.
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Trauma Informed Compassionate Classrooms
Creating age-appropriate learning ecosystem for children in vulnerable circumstances through trauma informed compassionate classrooms.
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The HEART Principle
Healing & Recovery Through Education, Art & Technology
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Monitoring & Evaluation
Course Correction Through Constant Monitoring & Evaluation
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