Why India?

Although India is developing fast, there is still great need.

The statistics below illustrate why we work with our partners to offer children in India the care, attention, education and support they need to develop their potential, self-esteem and aspirations.

  • There are more children living in poverty in India (156 million) than the populations of the UK and Germany combined.
  • Of the 365 million Indians living in ‘multidimensional poverty’ (meaning they lack not just money but food, housing, education, sanitation and other essentials) more than 1 in 3 are children.
  • Amongst India’s under-10s, 41% are poor. Malnutrition, lack of education, sanitation and housing are the main causes of child poverty.
  • Around 12% of India’s children are child labourers, 20% are out of school, 27% of girls are child brides (reported by UNICEF to be the highest in the world) and almost 1 in 4 girls becomes a mother when still in their teens.

Poor Indian children live in areas without clean water and hygienic sewage systems, leaving them exposed to life-threatening diseases. Children living in poverty miss out on education. Millions never go to school, or drop out as they are forced into child labour, child marriage and early childbirth. These practices perpetuate child exploitation and illiteracy (about 45% of India’s poor are illiterate), which reinforce generational cycles of poverty.

The World Bank says poverty persists in India because economic growth and poverty reduction measures have largely benefited people who were already better off, bypassing certain social groups (such as tribal people and women).

Government initiatives are making progress addressing child poverty, but extreme poverty remains a huge problem and many children still need external help from organisations like SLA and our Indian partners.

In India, poor sanitation and hygiene translate into an estimated 1000 children under five years of age dying from diarrhoea every day