To work to reduce illiteracy, poverty, and poor health conditions. We do this by creating and supporting programs dedicated to improving the education and health of disadvantaged children and their families.
In 2000, Shashi and Suri Mehta and Monica Saxena (natives of Lucknow) invited Hans Hageman to India. During his stay in India, he visited several poor villages in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow (located in the State of Uttar Pradesh, Southeast of Delhi). In these villages, he met hundreds of out-of-school children, especially girls and witnessed the absolute poverty (families with earnings of less than $1 per day) of the families. In spite of the size and scope of the problem, Hans felt compelled to do something to improve the lives of the children he met.
Hans knew that, by himself, he could not eliminate the staggering illiteracy rates and poverty in the villages. However, he could, over time, educate hundreds of girls and significantly improve their lives. Upon returning to New York City, Hans donated his life savings and Shashi and Suri Mehta donated the land, to build a free school for girls.
On August 19, 2002, the Sulaxmi School for Girls opened its doors to begin educating girls in the villages of Gomti Nagar, in Lucknow, India.
In July 2003, Hans and his wife, Bernadette founded the Salus Foundation, Inc. to provide financial support to the Sulaxmi School for Girls and other programs dedicated to improving the education and health of disadvantaged children and their families.