NICHE Advocacy Foundation is an

Urban Youth Driven
Impact Centric Organisation

working on Emotional Fitness and Personal growth

Our Core Values


we are passionate about positive personal change. We believe in the ability of the mind and brain to develop through the richness of its neuroplasticity! Transformation in individuals and thus, the community through training and refinement! We promote emotional wellness. We prevent and palliate chronic illness.


We use the principles of Neuroplasticity, adult learning patterns, observational and experiential learning! We create processes of peer driven mutual learning for leadership skills, team building and employability.


Our programs are designed around the ten core skills of emotional fitness as defined by WHO under life skills. For the diverse demographic in our country, we have developed a cafeteria approach with something for everyone. At the core we have the youth driven VIP League. Our volunteers and Interns create the ripple effect by becoming advocates of emotional fitness.

People Connect

We offer inspiration through interaction. We handle the information with sensitivity, transparency and confidentiality.


We are committed to create safe interaction platforms and healthy working environments

Dr. Mrs. Snehala Tawde


Mr. Chandrashekhar Tawde


Dr. Poornima Gauri

MD (Medicine), DNB (Medicine), DNB (Neurology), Visiting fellow Epilepsy (Melbourne) Neurologist, Pune and Nagpur, INDIA

Dr. Tejraj Tawde

MD, MRCPsych,
FRANZCP Consultant Psychiatrist Victoria, Australia

About NICHE Identity


Plasticity, the ability to change and adapt as per requirements resulting in learning and growth, is the hallmark of the brain. The brain grows through its vast plastic networking abilities.


The individual person is the basic unit of society. The health, the development and the potential of the individual matters for the ultimate evolution of society as a whole.


Humans being social animals, the community is an important resultant of our existence. We never evolve alone, but always as a species.


World Health Organisation defines health as state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. We endorse and uphold the concept of holistic well being with a focus on emotional fitness and mental health.


Swami Vivekananda believed education is the manifestation of perfection already in humans. Education is the process that enables an individual and hence the community to be the best version of himself or herself.


Upholding the cause for what we believe in is advocacy. We create awareness and campaign for the cause of emotional fitness and mental health.

Let us glimpse into a regular day in my neurology clinic.

The first patient walks in. He is a young college student who is unable to sleep and keeps getting bouts of vertigo and headaches. And he flings his old files on my table, frustrated, urging me to save him from himself. Driven by peer pressure into a lifestyle of mild to moderate substance abuse, he is forced to stay awake at night because nobody sleeps (koi nahi sotaa isliye koi nahi sotaa: nobody sleeps because nobody sleeps – that’s peer pressure for you). ……I give an additional reference to a psychiatric colleague, to help me manage him in a holistic manner. Due to target driven lifestyle of the world and especially in India, where we glorify achievements and marks, rather than attitude and persona, I see an increasing number of stress and life style induced Sleep Disorders, Panic Attacks, Migraine, Psychosomatic disorders and related states starting from the age of 14-15 years, when the race officially starts.

One in 6 patients in a neurology OPD have what is called, a Functional Neurological Disorder. This is a condition where cause is not found in any tests. Very often psychological issues seem to be at the root of it. The root of psychological issues is in the parenting, grooming, life style, stress levels, personality traits and other factors.

The next patient is a young lady with epilepsy, about to get married. She has been my patient for the past 8 years, since she was in school. She is well controlled and is now working in a good company. Since that past 2 years, she usually comes to my clinic alone. But, her parents have come along today as they want to discuss about her marriage. I know this is not about her epilepsy this time. It’s way beyond that. A fifteen minute discussion follows about whether to disclose her epilepsy to the ‘in-laws’ or not. Actually, 80 % people with epilepsy are able to live fairly normal lives. Yet, even in 2020, there is still a lot of stigma linked with epilepsy, especially in India. My work in the Indian Epilepsy Association, Nagpur Chapter, as the secretary and later President, led me to understand that it is not people with epilepsy, but the rest of the society that needs to be taught empathy, tolerance and compassion along with creating awareness and understanding of the disease.


Then comes in a 70 year old gentleman with a failing memory and behaviour changes over the past 2 years. He is accompanied by his worried daughter, who has her own family and household to look after.  On examining him I realise he has dementia. While giving him a list of tests to be done, I think about ways to retain his functionality. As I call up my Neuropsychology colleague to discuss his case, the other part of my mind wonders how much functionality he had achieved before dementia started. Had this individual reached the optimum level of emotional and mental development that his brain could allow? Did the world provide him with the opportunities and guidance to be the best version of himself? While I think of ‘RE-habilitation’ I wonder is there anything called ‘HABILITATION’? Has the college student, my first patient of the day, been exposed to the opportunities to  habilitate himself?

I also wonder how and for how long the daughter will manage. I wonder what will happen to her health, will she ever ask for help for herself as she struggles between managing her fathers chronic illness and grooming her own kids and looking after her own household and struggling to retain her own identity and individuality. I wonder when her hospital file will be made?

I also have a visit to the ICU scheduled, where currently an 85 year old woman is admitted with a bad stroke. She has been signalling to us to remove her ventilator and allow her to go. Her two son’s are, however, caught up in a parallel family drama. And it has been 40 days, they are arguing that everything should be done for her. It hurts me that people loose their dignity and autonomy in their last days and they are stripped of all control as they lie waiting for the ultimate common truth of us all: death! Despite the medical advances, death still is our common destination. However, we as a species have not been able to convert death into good death. India is one of the worst countries to die in. Our misplaced compassion and emotional adolescence become large hurdles. Shouldn’t we change the way we in India see death through our emotional perspective?

How can the concept of Neuroplasticity be used for personal growth? Can age old paradigms of behaviour be changed? Can a person be stimulated to want to change? As humans, we have not yet standardised a definite method for personal growth in the emotional realm. Many avenues are open for everyone. There is the path of intellect, that of spirituality and meditation, the path of organised religion and the path of work and action. However, how many of us opt to grow up as against just growing old?

Questions bother me as I work through my days.

And so my days work goes on and on. And with every patient I see, every question that arises in my mind, the urge to step beyond prescriptions grows in me till it becomes a driving force for my passion project, NICHE Advocacy Foundation.


I had a rough childhood, with a non-working father and a single mother raising three children through her focused hard work. I was blessed to be wired in a positive manner and I instinctively developed strategies to deal with the negativities around me. Some were adequate and took me to my goals, while some were inadequate, and left emotional scars. I have always wanted to share my personal positive strategies with others in need.

I suffer from an Incurable creative streak. I am an EMPATH. I have empowered myself through personal skill building.

With my inherent love for people and their minds, the choice of a medical career was a natural course of action. As I became a professional, I also walked the path of self discovery. Parenting my unique son has been a process of personal growth. I have met many mentors along the way who left their mark on me. I am an observational learner and I still meet people from whom I constantly learn. The meditation retreat of Vipassana has been a transformational turning point for me, along with Chinmay mission classes on Vedanta. I have learnt to listen to my inner self. I have listened to my calling and have taken up this passion project.

An aware and empowered EMPATH, I have the passion, I have the talent and the society needs this mission. There is no reason not  to do this. This has to be done, In all fairness to the cause and the dream! And. It is. Being done. And this is my exclusive NICHE.

Be an advocate of emotional fitness: Join us

  • Volunteer (VIP League)
  • Intern (VIP League)
  • Member (membership fees)
  • Sponsor (Sponsor a Program or Project)
  • Donor (Donate for our cause)