Who We Are


Karuna Trust’s mission is to develop a dedicated, service-minded team that enables holistic development of marginalized people through innovative, replicable models, with a passion for excellence.

Dr. H. Sudarshan founded Karuna Trust (KT) in 1986 to respond to the widespread prevalence of leprosy in the Yelandur Taluk of Karnataka. KT has been singularly successful in addressing this problem and the prevalence of leprosy in Yelandur dropped from 21.4 per 1000 population in 1987 to 0.28 per 1000 in 2005. From leprosy control, KT expanded its mission to address problems of epilepsy, mental health and tuberculosis. Eventually this led to the government of Karnataka asking KT to take over the day-to-day operations of the PHC at Gumballi which is intended to serve the same people that KT was serving.

Drawing on its learning from managing the Gumballi PHC, KT has pioneered a successful public-private partnership model for delivering affordable and integrated primary healthcare services. Under this model, KT partners State Governments to take over the day-to-day operations of Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs). The government continues to provide the funds required to run the PHC but monitors KT’s execution by measuring the performance of the PHC along pre-determined parameters. Currently, under this PPP model, KT’s 975+ healthcare professionals reache out to over 1 million people through direct management of 50 PHCs in 6 states of India.

The KT model is effective because it leverages existing public investment and resources. Indian state governments are committed to significant investment in delivering public healthcare services. KT substantially improves the impact of this existing public investment by providing operations and diagnostic expertise through dedicated healthcare professional resources.

KT provides equal focus on curative, preventive, rehabilitative & promotive care. KT educates the community it serves in practices that promote a healthy lifestyle. KT’s focus is on preventing or detecting a condition in an early stage through routine and regular monitoring. This prevents unnecessary danger and expense to a patient in more advanced stages of the condition. KT also undertakes rehabilitative programs to help recovering patients get back to their regular lives. The success of this integrated approach is visible in the dramatic improvement in health indicators of communities served by KT managed PHCs.

KT is striving to build a sustainable model for delivering primary healthcare services through a group of socially committed healthcare workers. KT’s field level healthcare workers are individuals committed to KT’s mission. These professionals serve communities in remote and hostile environment. In return for this dedication, KT strives to provide financial remuneration that is competitive and favorably comparable to equivalent government jobs. KT also strives to invest in many capacity building programs to help these healthcare workers deliver in a professionally challenging work environment.

KT recognizes that its success is directly linked to its acceptability within the community that it serves. KT, therefore, in delivering its services, adopts a bottom-up approach using appropriate technology at minimum cost to the community. KT strives to implement Community based, people oriented, need based and culturally acceptable medical practices.