This is probably one of the most common questions we are asked, and unfortunately the answer has not changed in the time we have been running the charity.
India is around the 11th biggest economy in the world and, according to the last census (2011), the second biggest population. This means that if everyone had an equal share (per capita GDP) India is around 140th in the world, behind many other countries such as Sudan, Philippines, and the Republic of Congo (World Bank 2013). There is just not enough to go round. According to UNICEF, “one in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India” and “in India, around 46 per cent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 percent are underweight and at least 16 percent are wasted. Many of these children are severely malnourished.”
The fact that India’s economy is growing relatively quickly has the disadvantage that inflation is a long standing problem, with food prices rising around 9%p.a. and fuel around 10% p.a. This inevitably means that very poor people can afford even less. So supporting children in India may not be fashionable, but it is sadly very necessary.
We’ve seen the poverty in India first-hand. As trustees, we run India Direct because we know it makes a difference. The poorest in India do struggle to live, despite the ‘booming’ economy. Whilst we have been encouraged by recent increases in the standard of living in India, many still live in unimaginable poverty and these are the children we aim to help get an education and a more certain future.