Christian Aid has supported local organisations in India for more than 50 years, initially providing relief to people affected by natural disasters, and now supporting long term development.
India is often referred to as a sub-continent due to its geographical size, diversity and population of over a billion. Its diversity is reflected in its many ethnic groups, languages, cultures and faiths.
It is hailed as the world’s largest democracy and an emerging global power, but the powerful interplay of caste, ethnicity, patriarchy and feudalism create deep-rooted divisions that deny equal rights and opportunities to all.
Our focus is on long-term development, addressing structural causes of poverty and promoting social inclusion.
- To address the causes of poverty by empowering socially excluded communities who face discrimination based on caste, ethnicity, religion and gender.
- To support communities in strengthening livelihoods and access their rights and entitlements from the state, and promoting human rights.
- To provide humanitarian aid to people affected by natural disasters; and promote disaster risk reduction.
- To promote human rights, advocate for policy change in favour of the excluded and increase accountability of public institutions.
The Sustainable Agro Alliance introduced us to the organic way of farming and helped us understand its benefits for our soil and overall health. They helped us realise a steady and regular income even with small land cultivation.
- Amudha, Azhavayal, Pudukottai District.
In India we work on...
We aim to reduce poverty by empowering socially excluded communities to combat discrimination, inequality and violations of human rights, both social and systemic.
We want to see communities empowered and gaining control over their lives, and we support them to hold institutions accountable and secure a fair share of national resources.
Our partners seek to mobilise public and democratic opinions to influence policies within the legal frame and enabling an environment of social inclusion.
Governance and human rights
Christian Aid works for accountable governance in India within institutions at all levels, from local to global.
We support Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that build the capacity of vulnerable and excluded communities and promote and strengthen human rights.
Christian Aid promotes networking among these CSOs, and is part of wider advocacy networks working on gender, identity based atrocities, tax and climate justice to deepen civil society engagement on these issues and their impact on socially excluded communities.
We support our partners and communities to develop sustainable, resilient livelihoods and promote access to non-discriminatory and pro-poor market.
We work to build sustainable and renewable energy and disaster risk reduction models that protect excluded and vulnerable communities from natural and human/societal man-made disasters.
Christian Aid promotes work that enhances the skills of individuals and communities to increase their productivity and gain access to land, water and other resources, services and support linked to sustainable agriculture and food security.
We respond to disasters, focusing on the most vulnerable and socially excluded with non-discriminatory humanitarian and inclusive emergency response, recovery and rehabilitation programmes.
Where we work and who we work with
Christian Aid has diverse partnerships with grassroots organisations, networks and campaigns, ecumenical organisations, research institutions and the private sector.
Currently, we are working in 16 states of India on three thematic interventions of Christain Aid with 27 active partners.
Our partners are committed to working for the empowerment of poor and excluded communities and helping them access their rights and entitlements.
Christian Aid India, through our partners and in collaboration with other INGOs and civil society coalitions, has demonstrated leadership in advocating for inclusive policies and monitoring the delivery of policy and practices.
We have contributed to developing tools, studies and research used by civil society to help identify and address exclusion within state services. Similarly, evidence-based advocacy is being extended to the private sector and other parts of the economy.
Similarly, evidence-based advocacy is being extended to the private sector and other parts of the economy.
Christian Aid in India works for addressing manual scavenging issues in our society, because no human being should be subjected to this practice, and it is high time that society itself to be transformed
- Bezwada Wilson, Winner of Ramon Magasasay Award 2016.
One of the primary aims of Christian Aid's programme in India is to curb gender-based violence.
Sakhi Kendra is an organisation working for the empowerment of women, gender equity and gender justice.
Sakhi Kendra works with women and girls to address gender and domestic violence, create awareness, support them to stand for their own cause, protect them from further violence and empower them to take up livelihood options.
The organisation has 450 human rights defenders, who provide support to women who are in distress irrespective of caste and religion.
Survivors of domestic violence are also provided with skills and training to become self-reliant.
Association for Rural and Urban Needy (ARUN)
ARUN is a voluntary organisation supporting Dalits, women, marginalised people, and families in distress.
ARUN address human rights issues by supporting democratic spaces in urban and rural areas.
Their work has included a nation-wide campaign, which achieved total eradication of manual scavenging across the country, and hosting a secretariat for Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) in New Delhi.
Agrarian Development Institute for Sustenance and Improved Livelihood (ADISIL)
ADISIL manages the Ecoveg Sustainable Agro Alliance (SAAL project initiated through the DFID-funded Programme Partnership Arrangement (PPA).
ADISIL work with 3,500 marginalised farmers and trains them in organic cultivation, including organic inputs, which supports them to receive organic certification from the government and in turn better priced vegetables.
The project also provides farmers with training in natural methods of crop production, low-carbon technology and soil testing.
Farmers will also supply with organic seeds suitable for their location and increased yields, and digital applications will be used to link producers with consumers to sell their produce.
It is expected that farmers' income may increase by 30-40%, helping gain a sustainable income for their families.
In the next two years, it is expected that 6,000 farmers will be trained and introduced to organic agriculture. 300 of these farmers are expected to be women from marginalised communities.
Poorvanchal Gramin Vikas Sansthan (PGVS)
PGVS has worked on community development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) issues for many years with a support from Christian Aid.
The organisation has not only addressed humanitarian aid responses in flood prone areas, but also worked on public health issues, cross-border early warning systems between Nepal and India, and WASH and hygiene issues in the community.
Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS)
DSS focuses on the protection and promotion of the rights of Dalit women and female children.
The organisation work in seven districts across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where Dalit women are oppressed and exploited because of caste, class and gender structures.
Jan Sahas Social Development Society
Jan Sahas works to promote the development and protect the rights of women and children from socially excluded communities, including Dalits and Muslims.
It works to expand education, establish social justice, improve social conditions, increase social empowerment, and adopt a spectrum of strategies, including campaigns for capacity building.
Jan Sahas aims to eradicate all forms of bondage, including manual scavenging and caste-based prostitution. It works to empower adolescent girls and women and help them develop skills to lead dignified lives.
Christian Aid’s work in India had paved the way for the enactment of significant policy changes, including:
- SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
- Forest Rights Act (FRA)
- Prohibition of Manual Scavenging Act
- Amendment providing Relief & Rehabilitation to Manual Scavengers
The implementation of these acts have had a direct effect on our work on human rights, caste based atrocities, sexual gender violence, access to forest land rights by indigenous communities and eradication of manual scavenging and restoration of livelihoods.
Our partners have developed various networks such as National Dalit Movement for Justice, Wada Na Toda and Manual Scavengers Network which has substantial number of Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) working for the cause at national level.
Many women collectives and self-help groups in rural India work with marginalised communities on strengthening of local governance.