Despite the UN and UNICEF goals articulated in 1978 of “Health for All by 2000”, India and many other developing countries have yet to see this goal become a reality. Prayas has focused its work on public health since its inception in 1979 and works extensively on the dual issues of empowering people to use available facilities and of strengthening the public health care system so that it is accessible and affordable to the poor. Ill-health can not only cause premature mortality, partial or complete immobility, and physical discomfort, but can also be an economic drain to individuals, family members, and friends who tend to the diseased person. The cumulative effect of high levels of premature mortality and morbidity negatively impacts the over all productivity of a nation. Due to lack of nutritious food, unhygienic conditions, and lack of existing infrastructure, the rural poor are especially in need of health care services. In addition, women, children and adolescents are particularly susceptible to illness and have specific health needs. The failure of top down government efforts and the work of international bodies has led to the emergence of a people centred health initiatives. Prayas Prayas’ work in health is focused on putting pressure on decision makers, governments and the private sector to improve health services, as well as on increasing awareness among rural communities about the causes of disease and disease prevention, and promotion of healthy lifestyles.