Located in South Asia, India is bordered by China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. The landscape features an upland plateau in the south, an arid desert in the west, and the Himalayan Mountains in the north.

  • Population: 1,236,686,700
  • Life Expectancy: 66 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 92%
  • School Enrollment: 99%
  • Land Mass: 1,269,219 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 63%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 56/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 1,530

Facts about India

Economic Development

In India, 41.6 percent of the population lives below $1.25 a day, and 75.6 percent of the population lives below $2 a day.

Food & Agriculture

21 percent of India’s population suffers from hunger.

Child Protection

Forced labor is a significant problem in India. Millions of men, women, and children are held in debt bondage and forced to work in brick kilns, rice mills, embroidery factories, and other industries. Women and children are also vulnerable to human trafficking.


Though primary school enrollment has been improving, 40 percent of students, mostly girls, drop out by secondary school.

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Progress in India

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • We taught courses on maternal and child health to nurses, midwives, and community health volunteers so they could provide nutrition, disease, and delivery care for mothers and babies.

  • We reduced malnutrition by identifying at-risk children for treatment, teaching caregivers about children's nutrition, providing seeds and training to parents on how to grow home gardens, and teaching communities about hygiene to reduce diarrheal rates.

  • In partnership with local schools, we conducted health education classes for adolescent girls on reproductive health, nutrition, hygiene, and the harmful effects of early child marriage.

  • To increase household food security for families with malnourished children, we provided cows and goats so families will have milk to feed their children and sell for additional income.

  • Youth are better equipped for economic opportunities after attending World Vision career trainings and receiving tuition assistance to pursue higher education or vocational training.

  • Community savings groups provided interest-earning savings accounts and small, affordable loans for people who don’t have access to traditional banking services. This empowered them to plan for the future, start businesses, and meet their children’s basic needs.

  • In order to reduce the rate of school drop outs, we provided bicycles to students who needed transportation to get to school and we opened tutoring centers for children who were struggling with their schoolwork.

  • Our children's clubs helped kids gain awareness about their rights, health, education, and environmental issues in their communities.

  • World Vision conducted Life Skills for Transformational Development events where children learned about their rights, respecting their elders and one another, moral values, and saying no to drugs. Children from many different villages, religions, and castes participated and built new relationships.

  • Demonstrating Christ’s love through our actions, we worked among the children and families of the community to promote peace and justice and encourage understanding.

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    World Vision in India Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of India to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 59,000 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in India. Highlights include:

    • Supporting 10,425 households for livelihood promotion, contributing to an increase in household income and enabling families to provide nutritious food and better care for their children.
    • Bringing together police, media, local governments, communities, and NGOs to address the issue of child trafficking.
    • Supporting 100 schools by building drinking water and toilet facilities, playgrounds, and equipment.

    World Vision History in India

    World Vision began work in India in 1953. Child sponsorship began in 1960. Since then, some accomplishments include:

    • Assisting Indians affected by heavy rains in 1974 with food and shelter.
    • Responding to the damage done by Pradesh cyclones and floods during the 1980s by providing agricultural assistance, clean drinking water, immunizations, and nutrition programs.
    • Launching several projects during the 1990s to address the concerns of bonded child labor, street children, AIDS awareness, rehabilitation of commercial sex workers, and the prevention of female infanticide.
    • Distributing clothes, medicines, kerosene, blankets, food, and more to over 35,000 victims of the December 2004 tsunami.
    • Providing cooked food, household items, mosquito nets, cooking utensils, and clothing to thousands of Indians affected by floods in 2009.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Located in South Asia, India is bordered by China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. The landscape features an upland plateau in the south, an arid desert in the west, and the Himalayan Mountains in the north. Three of India’s largest rivers (the Ganges, Indus, and Brahmaputra) originate in the Himalayas.

    The climate ranges from tropical to temperate. Natural resources include arable land, coal, diamonds, limestone, natural gas, titanium ore, and petroleum. India is the world’s seventh-largest country.

    As the second-most populous country in the world, India supports over 15 percent of the world’s people and contains about 200 ethnic groups. Nearly 75 percent of India’s inhabitants are Indo-Aryan, a mixture of indigenous and either European or Iranian ancestry. Over 337 million people speak the national language of Hindi. Indians use English mostly in political and commercial communications.

    Although the effects of poverty in India are widespread, girls often suffer the most. Traditionally, the father gets first choice of the food, followed by his sons, with the leftovers going to his wife and daughters. Girls also often miss out on education, immunizations, healthcare, and other benefits.

    Boys may continue to live with their parents after they get married. Girls, however, go to live with their husbands’ families. By law, women cannot wed until they are 21, but in rural communities, families often arrange marriages while the children are quite young.


    The Hindu culture developed on the subcontinent of India under the Gupta Dynasty in the fifth century A.D. For the next 700 years, Islam slowly spread across the region and blended with Hindu traditions.

    By the 1850s, the British controlled most of India and opened trading posts along the western coast. Beginning in 1920, Mohandas K. Gandhi led a mass movement against British rule, using nonviolent resistance to push for independence.

    In 1947, the British partitioned the country into two independent states: India (with a Hindu majority) and Pakistan (with a Muslim majority). Since that time, India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, a northern Muslim region.

    India controls two of Kashmir’s three states, while Pakistan controls the remaining state. Both countries supported a cease-fire in 2003, yet several attacks occurred in the past few years, straining relations.

    In August 2008, devastating floods in Bihar in eastern India destroyed an estimated 315,000 homes and affected more than 4 million people. In November 2008, terrorists attacked Mumbai, the financial capital of India. The attacks left 200 dead and hundreds injured. In 2009, drought and more floods affected millions of people.

    Prayer Requests for India

    • Please pray for families of malnourished children who we are training to grow nutritious crops and gardens to feed their youngsters.
    • Pray also for community volunteers working to help students who are struggling in school.