India

Country Facts

  • Population: 1.3 billion
  • Life Expectancy: 68 years
  • Literacy Rate: 71%
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): $6,030

Country Overview

India is the world’s largest democracy and second most populous nation.  A significant portion of the population works in the agricultural industry, but the service industry is largely responsible for economic growth. Textiles, steel, information technology, and software are major industries contributing to development in India. Despite the growth India has seen in the last 60 years of independence, improved infrastructure, healthcare, and educational and economic opportunities are long-term challenges. 
 
One third of the world’s poor live in India. Unemployment is a major concern, as up to 550 jobs are lost daily. The bulk of India’s poor live in rural areas, where 70% of the population resides. As a result, 10 million people migrate to urban areas every year in search of jobs. However, higher levels of education and skill must be provided for India’s large young population. Less than 10% of the working population has received a secondary education, making it nearly impossible for them to compete in the job market. 

Healthcare is out of reach for most, as 70% of the population lives in rural areas where hospitals and clinics are scarce. Although private hospitals in urban areas provide quality care, most of the private expenditure on health in India is out of pocket. This means most of the time, the average person pays for their healthcare expenses with their hard earned money. This is not feasible for the vast majority of Indians. 

Development

WCF partners with Divine Welfare Trust to provide for the basic needs of children in West Bengal, India. DWT is committed to ensuring free and equal access to education for underprivileged and impoverished children. Millions of children are out of school because their nutritional and health needs are not being met. DWT provides these children with educational sponsorships, including tuition, supplies, and uniforms, and holistic development.

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According to a 2016 UNESCO report, India has 47 million youth of secondary and higher secondary school-going age dropping out of school. A 2014 survey by the Ministry of Human Resource Development estimated that 6 million children 6-13 years old are not in school. Over 11 million children in the lower secondary school level are out of school. At the upper secondary level, 46.8 children do are not in school, and nearly 3 million children do not attend primary school. 
 
Out of school children come from families that cannot afford to pay for their tuition, supplies, nutrition, and health care. As a result, millions of children and youth are unprepared to enter the workforce and lift themselves out of poverty.  DWT provides free education, books, supplies, tutors and uniforms for those who could not afford it otherwise, regardless of religious, social, or economic background. DWT is currently sponsoring the education of 70 children and hopes to sponsor even more children in the future.
In the process, negative views of education amongst parents and families are being transformed as they see their children grow and develop academically and socially. 

 

Humanitarian

WCF partners with Divine Welfare Trust to provide for the basic needs of children in West Bengal, India. DWT is responding to the major nutritional and educational deficits that underprivileged children and youth in India face through a feeding program as well as a free educational center and provision of free uniforms, books, and school supplies.

 

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In India, 62 million children under the age of 5 (48% of children in that age range) are stunted. This is the highest number of stunted children in the world and accounts for one third of the global number of stunted children under the age of 5. Stunting causes reduced physical and mental development. India has more than 25 million children who suffer from wasting, an acute undernutrition disorder. Young adults also suffer from not having their nutritional needs met. Seventy percent of young girls are anemic and half of adolescents a body mass index that is lower than normal.

Education is also a key part of proper nutrition. According to UNICEF, the percentage of children who are severely underweight is almost five times higher among children whose mothers have no education than among children whose mothers have 12 or more years of schooling. It has been shown that women’s low education levels and social status put them and their children at risk for malnutrition. Sixty million children in India have little, if any, formal education. Over 11 million children in the lower secondary school level are out of school. At the upper secondary level, 46.8 million children are not in school, and nearly 3 million children do not attend primary school. DWT works hard to provide free education for those who could not afford it otherwise and equal opportunities for boys and girls through vocational training, nutrition, and health care.

 

Medical

WCF Medical volunteers have seen a total of 2,677 patients in India since 2009. WCF has sponsored free medical and dental clinics as well as healthcare seminars in New Delhi, Gujurat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. 

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Many of the patients we see suffer from gastrointestinal issues, musculoskeletal pain, skin problems, Type 2 diabetes, intestinal worms, bacterial infections, and malnutrition, among other illnesses. Hundreds of people walk for hours to get to our clinics held in remote village areas.  Healthcare is inaccessible for most, as 70% of the population lives in rural areas where hospitals and clinics are scarce. There is 1 physician per 1,538 people in India, as compared to 1 per 413 people in the United States. Although private hospitals in urban areas provide quality care, most of the private expenditure on health in India is out of pocket. This means most of the time, the average person pays for their healthcare expenses with their hard earned money. This is not feasible for the vast majority of Indians, especially those who struggle to feed and clothe their families and send their children to school.