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Christian Aid in India

Our work

Christian Aid has supported local organisations in India for more than five decades, initially providing relief and rehabilitation to people affected by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and cyclones.

Later, our focus shifted to long-term development, social exclusion and the structural causes of poverty. Christian Aid and its partners address the causes of poverty by empowering socially excluded communities who face discrimination based on caste, ethnicity, religion and gender.

Christian Aid has diverse partnerships with grassroots organisations, networks and campaigns, ecumenical organisations, research institutions and the private sector.

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), in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Urban Needy (ARUN), 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 its efforts with the state to increase the national welfare budget to support manual scavengers to find alternative livelihoods through enhanced relief and rehabilitation programmes.

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 believes greater access to cultivable agricultural land would lift millions out of poverty.

Ekta Parishad’s campaign for the government to swiftly implement land and legal reforms, saw more than 50,000 landless people marching for a month to Delhi in late 2012.

With our partners, Christian Aid India works across several areas: we support communities to strengthen livelihoods and access their rights and entitlements from the state; promote human rights; advocacy for policy change in favour of the excluded; increase accountability of public institutions; provide humanitarian aid to the people affected by natural disasters; and promote disaster risk reduction.

Social exclusion

Christian Aid contributes towards poverty reduction by empowering socially excluded communities to combat discrimination, inequality and violations of human rights, both social and systemic.

We want to see communities empowered and gaining control over their lives and we support them to hold institutions accountable and secure a fair share of national resources.

Our partners seek to mobilise public opinion to influence policies and create an environment of social inclusion.

Governance and human rights

Christian Aid works for accountable governance in India within institutions at all levels, from local to global.

We support civil society organisations (CSOs) that build the capacity of vulnerable and excluded communities and promote and strengthen human rights.

Christian Aid promotes networking among these CSOs, and is part of wider advocacy networks working on tax and climate justice to deepen civil society engagement on these issues and their impact on socially excluded communities.

Sustainable livelihoods

We support our partners and communities to develop resilient livelihoods. We work to build sustainable and renewable energy and disaster risk reduction models that protect excluded and vulnerable communities from natural and man-made disasters.

Christian Aid promotes work that enhances the skills of individuals and communities to increase their productivity and gain access to land, water and other resources, services and support linked to sustainable agriculture and food security.

We respond to disasters, focusing on the most vulnerable and socially excluded with non-discriminatory humanitarian and emergency response, recovery and rehabilitation programmes.