ARMMAN's Founder Dr. Aparna Hegde Wins Prestigious Elevate Prize by MIT

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The maternal and child health NGO and its founder are among 10 winners from across the world who are awarded $5 million to amplify their impact in driving world change

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (NewsVoir)

India-based non-profit ARMMAN announced today that the NGO and its founder Dr. Aparna Hegde have been selected as winners of the prestigious 2021 Elevate Prize awarded by The Elevate Foundation in collaboration with MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The award, now in its second year, distributes $5 million across 10 diverse social entrepreneurs working to solve pressing issues in order to amplify their impact in driving world change.

The 10 winners were selected out of 1273 applicants from 92 countries and ARMMAN was recognized as one of 2 winners from India.

ARMMAN and Dr. Aparna Hegde have been awarded for the use of mobile technology to enable healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and healthy childhood. ARMMAN leverages technology to create cost-effective, highly scalable solutions to improve the health and well-being of under-served mothers and children in India. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), it is currently implementing the largest mobile-based maternal messaging program (Kilkari) and the largest mobile-based training program for frontline health workers (Mobile Academy). Programs implemented by ARMMAN have reached over 26 million women and children and 212,000 frontline health workers in 19 states of India.

Acknowledging the Elevate Prize award win, Dr. Aparna Hegde, Founder of ARMMAN, said, “I feel honoured that our innovative approach of using the “tech plus touch” model that combines technology with strong on-ground linkages and partnerships has been recognised globally.

Winning the Elevate Prize will support our ambitious scale-up plans, COVID-19 interventions, and innovations in use of AI and predictive analytics, multimedia and two-way communication approaches. It will also help us firm up a blueprint roadmap for ARMMAN, bringing us closer to our vision of a world where every mother is empowered and every child is healthy,” she added.

The Elevate Prize 2021 winners were selected by a renowned judging panel, composed of purpose-driven leaders in business, academia, media and beyond, including Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer and philanthropist; Maria Elena Salinas, journalist and CBS news contributor; Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company; and Natalie Tran, Executive Director of the CAA Foundation.

The winners will each receive a minimum of $300,000 in prize funding, as well as leadership development services, social media training, mentorship, and other support needed to reach a wider audience to grow their following.

About The Elevate Prize Foundation

Founded in 2019 by businessman, philanthropist, and author Joseph Deitch, The Elevate Prize Foundation aims to serve as an engine for social good by funding, guiding, and scaling the platforms of social entrepreneurs. The Foundation’s signature program is its annual Elevate Prize, which is awarded to 10 or more global leaders tackling pressing issues in innovative ways.

About Dr. Aparna Hegde

Stanford University and Cleveland Clinic-educated Dr. Aparna Hegde is a Urogynecologist and ARMMAN’s Founder and Managing Trustee. Her commitment to maternal/child health was born out of preventable deaths witnessed during medical residency. She is Associate Professor, Urogynecology and Head of upcoming Urogynecology department at Cama Hospital, Mumbai-India’s first University-based Center of Excellence in Urogynecology. She is an NIH grantee with pioneering research in 2D/3D pelvic floor USG. Dr. Hegde is #15 on Fortune’s list of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2021. She received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2020 and is a TED Fellow 2020.


ARMMAN is an India-based non-profit leveraging mHealth to create cost-effective, scalable, gender-sensitive, non-linear, systemic solutions to improve access of pregnant women and mothers to preventive information and services along with training health workers to reduce maternal and child mortality/morbidity. It adopts a “tech plus touch” approach by leveraging the health worker network of the government and partner NGOs along with the deep mobile penetration. During COVID-19, ARMMAN leveraged its technology and expertise to launch 4 interventions which have reached over 300,000 women and 800,000 health workers across India. ARMMAN’s programs have been awarded by World Health Organization, British Medical Journal and GSK-Save the Children.

To learn more about ARMMAN, please visit

Image: Dr. Aparna Hegde, Founder of ARMMAN


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