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International Partner - India

The Republic of India is a large country in South Asia. Bordered by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Bay of Bengal on the east, and the Arabian Sea on the west. India’s population is a little more than one billion, making it the second most populous country in the world, after China. Approximately 81 percent of the population is Hindu, and 13 percent are Muslim. The predominant languages are Hindi and English.

India’s overall economy has experienced impressive economic growth over the last five years. While the number of people living below the poverty line has gradually been dropping, malnutrition, preventable diseases and poverty remain a harsh reality for millions. Approximately 24 percent of the population live in urban slums. Many of the inequities are connected to issues of social distance between genders and India’s caste system. Caste, is a social concept without genetic basis. Castes are named, ranked and membership is determined by birth. There are thousands of castes in India, and ranking can sometimes determine social, economic, and educational opportunities, as well as accessibility to healthcare. These social constructs seem to have a stronger hold in the countryside as opposed to urban areas.

  • Approximately 47 percent of children born are underweight and severely malnourished
  • The vaccine preventable measles disease remains the country’s #1 cause of child death
  • Diarrhea remains the second major cause of death due to unsafe drinking water and unhygienic practices
  • Approximately 20 percent of children aged 6 to 14 are not in school due to unequal opportunities within caste, class and gender
  • An estimated 12.6 million children are engaged in hazardous occupations
  • Worldwide, India has the largest number of child laborers under the age of 14

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