Protecting Indian Children Through Community Advocacy
ChildFund has worked in India for more than 60 years.
During this time, we have seen India expand to become one of the world's largest
economies, growth that seemingly continues unabated. Although conditions have
improved in India's poorest areas during recent years, economic disparity
remains one of the country's most pervasive problems. Faced with a rapidly
growing population and the pressures of widespread industrialization, India can
be a difficult place to live for millions of children, particularly those in
rural areas. Many children come from broken homes and abusive backgrounds,
situations that are exacerbated by the struggles of living in poverty.
Protecting the Vulnerable
According to UNICEF, the
issue of children's rights has become increasingly urgent since 2000, when
the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations explicitly called for
improvements to children's safety across the country. In addition, India's other
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aim to tackle social issues that have gone
unaddressed since India's rapid economic expansion began in the early 1990s,
such as the eradication of extreme poverty and child hunger, achieving access to
education, promoting gender equality, advancing women's rights and reducing
Although progress has
been made in several key areas, including the near eradication
of polio and increased literacy rates and primary school enrollment,
millions of children are still at risk. In light of prolonged financial
difficulties, some children are vulnerable to human traffickers and forced
labor, as families try to earn enough money to survive.
Tackling the Tough Problems
Since 1951, ChildFund has
helped more than 1 million children in 1,600 communities in India. Over the
years, we have partnered with 75 local and regional organizations in 15 of
India's 28 states to protect children and provide them with access to the
nutrition, health care and education that they need to become healthy and
productive adults. A cornerstone of our efforts has been the introduction of
The focus of this
initiative is to empower vulnerable children and youths through education. At
children's clubs, young people learn about a variety of topics, including
children's rights, nutrition, health and hygiene, enriching their lives through
community outreach and advocacy. As a result, children and youth have the tools
to improve the quality of life in their communities. Children's clubs have
planted vegetable gardens to provide nutritious food for early childhood
development (ECD) centers and also have dug drainage ditches that improve
sanitation and hygiene.
Making a Difference
Children are not the
only ones to benefit from ChildFund's programs. Parents also learn valuable
skills that will enable them to take better care of their children and offer
them the opportunities they themselves lacked in their youth.
"I'm raising my child
differently to how I was raised," says Kumari, a 27-year-old mother from
Chennai. "ChildFund set up mothers' clubs. We meet regularly to learn about
immunization for our children, breastfeeding, preparing nutritious meals,
registering births and personal hygiene."
To invest in the future
of India's children, please consider sponsoring
a child. For just $28 per month, you can help us provide children in need
with access to food, health care and education, all of which will help them
emerge from poverty.