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Christian Aid in India

A third of the world's poor live in India, one of the most unequal societies in the world. While economic development over recent decades has created pockets of wealth, poverty remains entrenched and widespread.

Forty-two percent of the population live below the poverty line and at least 20% of the population frequently go hungry.

Our work

Christian Aid has worked in India for more than 50 years. The main focus of our work is on tackling inequality by addressing the structural causes, particularly discrimination based on caste, ethnicity, gender and religion. We work with 58 partners, mostly in the country’s northern states.

Livelihoods: Christian Aid empowers marginalised communities to claim their rights to employment and land. Through the projects we fund, poor communities are becoming more resilient to environmental threats, developing skills and knowledge in sustainable agriculture, and accessing sustainable energy sources.

Accountable governance: Christian Aid is funding projects that are empowering marginalised communities to hold decision-makers and businesses to account in the areas of welfare policies, investments, the environment, climate change and tax.

HIV: India accounts for more than 7% of the 33.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Christian Aid is working with several partner organisations to support those living with HIV/AIDS, to prevent transmission, and to tackle stigma and discrimination.

Our partners

Deccan Development Society (DDS) works with dalit women in southern India helping them to transform farming methods, and empowering them to influence government policies.

The DDS women have helped 5,000 women turn 5,000 acres of wasteland into productive cropland that now feeds 50,000 of the poorest people in the region.

The DDS community media initiative trains illiterate dalit and tribal women to produce their own films and radio programmes to raise awareness about important issues locally and nationally.

Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) campaigns to eradicate the illegal and inhuman practice of manual scavenging, a job carried out mostly by dalit women where they clean out human excrement from ‘dry’ toilets.

It has succeeded in increasing the national welfare budget to support manual scavengers to find alternative, more human jobs from £600,000 in 2010 to £13.3 million in 2011-12.

Ekta Parishad is a network of grassroots organisations campaigning for land rights and control over forest resources for marginalised communities, especially dalits and tribals. It estimates that access to land could lift 400 million Indians out of poverty.

In 2011, Ekta Parishad will embark on a 13-month long campaign across 25 Indian states to demand that the government swiftly implements land and legal reforms. The climax will include 100,000 landless people marching for a month to Delhi in October-November 2012.


This video gives a brief explanation of why Christian Aid believes it's imperative that we, as an international development charity with a vision to end poverty in our world, continue to support our civil society grassroots partners in India.

What you can do

• Help us continue our support of partners by donating

• Take action to help eradicate poverty and injustice across the world   

Further content

• India and manual scavenging

• SKA in India

• DDS women’s sanghams

• Ekta Parishad’s Janadesh march

World Bank energy campaign briefing: India energy briefing paper (120 kb PDF)


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India march

March ends with 'victory' for India's landless poor

India's march for justice

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