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the Sambhavana trust clinic

The Analysis:  A thorough examination into how a radically new model of health delivery was formulated, implemented with high levels of success in the background of a massive health disaster affecting thousands.

Of interest to those in, wanting to get into or support :

Healthcare, low-income communities, dense urban settings, women-centric, politically sensitive, new framework of delivery. 

 ‘There was a time when patients used to discuss how many kilograms of medicines they had at home! The futility of drugs alone was so apparent. Something radically different had to be done, there was no other way".

                                                                                                                             -- Sarangi, on why he persisted with the Sambhavana model.

Founder and Director of Sambhavana, Satinath Sarangi helps construct a sequence of events, milestones with words of advice for aspiring innovators.

His work gives a whole new meaning to social responsibility, showing innovation can work in some of the darkest times.

Never one to shy away from hard talk, Sarangi was also immensely honest about the hardships of creating a new model of delivery in the backdrop of a massive disaster that has affected (and continues to affect) several thousand in the Bhopal region.

Image courtesy SDMIMD website; downloaded Jan 2018


WHAT: A clinic in the heart of a low-income community most affected by the gas leak, offering a thorough mind-body approach using both western and traditional Ayurveda treatment.

FOR: Some 30,000 registered patients suffering from methyl isocyanite associated diseases, a direct result of the gas leak in 1984. babies being born to-date have been diagnosed with related diseases.

SINCE: 1994

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 60 (As of 2017)

MODEL OF OPERATION: The clinic is registered as a nonprofit.  A combination of full time, part time and volunteers work here. Everyone is appointed directly by the clinic. 

OPERATING COSTS:  Rs. 2 crores…USD 312,000 in direct market exchange rates (as of 2017). And USD 1.14million in equivalent terms/ Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). (See 'How to read the map' section below to learn about PPP)

IMPACT: The true impact of Sambhavana lies in the hope and confidence it has given the people (especially the women) it serves. It has over 30,000 registered patients who now come in regularly to take medication or yoga or Ayurveda treatment. 

Sambhavana has been mentioned in journals and media outlets nationally and internationally, getting mentions for everything from its treatment methods to its campus design!

Volunteers come from all over the world to study everything from the gas leak to medication techniques to vernacular design and do chores around the campus. Many volunteers are known to return for repeat stays. 

SAMBHAVANA- DEFINING TRAITS  [snapshot analysis]

A nested Venn diagram is used below to show some of the major factors responsible for Sambhavana's success.

A combination of research-backed decisions as well as understanding of the local conditions (culture, economics, climate, urban footprint etc.) is at the core of every decision made by Sambhavana (and remains so).

At the same time, being immensely patient and allowing plenty of time for the people to absorb the new model has been all-encompassing in everything that has been done/ is being done. 

An understanding that this is as much a people issue as it is a medical one is a standout feature in its success.

the process

The following set of analyses show the various stages in the innovation process.

  • Text in the main box (white background) explain the process, aka. what was done.

  • Further pointers (colored post-it callouts) highlight how & why some decisions and moves in the process continuum led to the accrual of value over the entire life cycle of the social venture.


The Map has been created to allow the reader to be able to see the different phases involved as well as be able to understand the significance of each move & how those contributed to the ultimate success.

Being open-minded and seeking help from every available resource is a hallmark of those working in this field of social innovation and enterprise. 

Accordingly, these case studies have been presented in such a way that people with ideas from disparate areas of work can seek some inspiration and commonality. Maybe the geography, or the cultural context or just the manner in which resources were used could be applied it toward their own venture.

Click on image to view larger size images; Alternately, simply click on the thumbnails below to see different stages of the innovation process. 

Process Map Key
Context & Idea Crystallization
Planning & Funding
Implementation Issues
All about Scaling
Unique Attributes


Click on image to open  larger size gallery. Alternately, click on right of image to see gallery. Hover over each image to see description.

The Sambhavana Trust Clinic can be contacted at

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