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Despite India's exponential rate of economic growth, tens of millions of children are being left behind.

In India, one child in 20 dies before turning five. The tragedy is, most of these deaths are caused by preventable/treatable conditions, such as diarrhoea, malnutrition and pneumonia.

Risks for many older children are also high. Around 12 million are child labourers - often doing physically demanding, dangerous work. 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.


When a devastating second wave of COVID-19 engulfed India, and case soared to 400,000 a day, we: 

  • raised awareness of how families can prevent the spread of the virus – such as handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks
  • supported health clinics, helping to boost vaccinations, and providing protective equipment for health workers
  • gave families cash, food and other essentials like soap and hand sanitiser. 
  • helped children to keep learning from home during the crisis, and giving emotional and psychological support to those who need it.

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.

Find out more

Page updated October 2021

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