Where We Work

Introduction to India

With 1.3 billion people living in India, it is the second most populous country in the world and has the third largest economy. As a result of the diverse ethnic groups and traditions that enrich life in India, there are 23 official languages, millions of beautifully designed places of worship, a world-renowned movie industry, and passionate cricket games and teams. 

India is also home to the largest concentration of poor people, with 60% of its population living in poverty. Droughts, floods, and cyclones destroy and damage shelter, infrastructure, and livelihoods and have long-lasting effects on these communities.

As a result, WASH is an important development priority for India. Despite large-scale efforts to increase access to WASH facilities, open defecation is still a common practice with increased health and protection risks. Lack of access to nutritious food, health issues, and volatile conflict and environment worsen conditions for the country’s 364 million people living in poverty. 

Why do the people of India need your support?

For people across India, life is incredibly challenging:

  • Less than 50% of the population has access to safely managed drinking water (UNICEF)

  • 189.2 million people in India are undernourished (FAO, 2020) 

  • 30% of women in India aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence in their lifetime (National Family Health Survey, 2019) 

  • There is close to 1 million internally displaced people due to disasters (iDMC, 2020)

Islamic Relief in India

Islamic Relief started its work in India in 1994, shortly establishing a main office in New Delhi and providing emergency relief in the face of the 1999 Orissa cyclone, and subsequent earthquake and tsunami in Gujarat. To this day, we continue to respond to natural disasters with food and non-food item kits, shelter rehabilitation, and WASH support for affected communities. 

Our work in India focused on empowering women and combating gender inequality by providing single women in Hyderabad livelihood opportunities through
 entrepreneurship development and awareness raising sessions on basic rights. 

This project included training sessions in tailoring, cooking, beauty and wellness, supporting 400 women to set up their own enterprises, and encouraging women to apply to government assistance programs and attain their voter identification card so they can practice their basic rights. Our project enabled vulnerable women to access better shelter, healthcare, protection, and employment.

Beyond our development projects, Islamic Relief Canada provided emergency assistance to address the dreadful impact of Covid-19 and the Hyderabad flood. Our emergency response provided WASH and non-essential food items to vulnerable households, and a sustainable oxygen generation plant and testing machines to hospitals to combat Covid-19 infections.

Your donations in action

Asiya is a 30 year old widow who was left traumatized after the sudden death of her husband, leaving her as the sole supporter of her four in-laws and two young children. Making ends meet became an impossible task for the young timid widow. 

Our team on the ground in India identified her as a great candidate for our Sustainable Livelihoods for Single Women in Hyderabad project. This project focused on improving the living conditions of single women-headed households in the slums of Hyderabad, by increasing their livelihood options. 

Asiya joined our training sessions on cooking and housekeeping but didn’t expect much to come from the training. Overtime she found herself developing confidence and enthusiasm, quickly rising to the top of the class as the most active student, keen on learning and experimenting with ingredients. The training chef took notice of her enthusiasm and asked her to assist during classes, the following year she was selected to be the Assistant Chef in training a new batch of women. 

From there onwards, Asiya’s spirit soared, her enthusiasm and hard work flourished as she independently managed and trained over 16 women on her own, becoming a head Chef Trainer. Her ambition did not stop there, she launched her own canteen in the local school, providing fresh snacks for children. Long gone was the scared and hesitant young widow, she had overcome her trauma and was standing on her own feet to independently support her family.

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