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India

Despite India's exponential rate of economic growth, tens of millions of children are being left behind. And with a devastating second wave of COVID-19 in India, children are at huge risk.

In India, one child in every twenty dies before their fifth birthday. The tragedy is, most of these deaths are caused by conditions that could be prevented or treated, such as diarrhoea, malnutrition and pneumonia.

Risks for many older children are also high. Around 12 million are employed as child labourers - often doing physically demanding work in dangerous conditions. More than a million children are not in education. Those who go to school often face overcrowded classrooms, inadequate sanitation and a lack of clean, safe drinking water.

Our teams across India are working hard to ensure children can grow up healthy and happy, and have the chance to fulfil their potential.

COVID-19

A devastating second wave of COVID-19 has engulfed India - and children are under threat. New cases have soared to 350,000 a day. 

Together with partner organisations, we're: 

  • raising awareness of how families can prevent the spread of the virus – such as handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks
  • supporting health clinics, helping to boost vaccinations, and providing protective equipment for health workers
  • giving families cash, food and other essentials like soap and hand sanitiser. 
  • helping children to keep learning from home during the crisis, and giving emotional and psychological support to those who need it.
 
Our Emergency Fund means we can be on the ground within hours of a disaster striking - like the COVID-19 crisis in India - so we can quickly reach children with the essentials they need to survive.
 

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Improving health and nutrition

We work closely with communities, schools and local and district governments to improve children's health and nutrition.

We've launched a major initiative to tackle deadly diarrhoea, which kills thousands each year. Our mobile health units are giving children growing up in Delhi's slums the chance to see a doctor. And we're training community health workers to bring vital care and health information to remote and marginalised communities.

Protecting the most vulnerable

We're working hard to prevent exploitation and trafficking, and help child labourers get out of work and into education.

In remote areas, we work with communities to promote child rights and ensure children are protected from neglect and abuse. And we collaborate with local authorities to ensure legal safeguards are in place for vulnerable children.

In emergencies, our teams are ready to respond swiftly to and save lives. We set up child protection mechanisms and build child-friendly spaces where children can play, learn and stay safe in the aftermath of a disaster.

The chance to learn

In education, we focus on giving the most marginalised children the chance to learn. Our teams encourage parents who have not had a formal education to send their children to school.

We train teachers to deliver engaging, interactive lessons, and we help establish community groups to take responsibility for education locally. In cities, we set up schools and mobile learning centres for vulnerable children.

Ahmad, 7, with half brother Lichi, 2. They live in Madhi Basti, Kolkata, India with their family.

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