As the second-most populous country, India is home to more than 1.3 billion people and is the fifth-largest economy in the world – putting it above the likes of the United Kingdom, France and Italy. However, that has not meant that millions of children aren’t going hungry every night, with families forced to live in overcrowded communities with a low standard of hygiene equating to a high risk of disease.
At UK Islamic Mission, we are actively trying to help poor children in India and their families, millions of which are living in poverty. Even in Mumbai, which has a high concentration of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), those less fortunate live just a stone’s throw away from the rich.
There are slums aplenty in the country, with families denied access to clean water, food and healthcare amongst other necessities. That is all while the richest 1% of Indians have more than four times the wealth of the poorest 70% of the country’s population, which accounts for 953 million people. The gap is widening and it is clear that charities in India have their work cut out if they are to make a difference to the millions of those living on the breadline.
Why We Need to Help Stop Poverty in India
Even though the Indian economy grows from strength to strength, the reality is that fortune is reserved for the few, with many families desperately doing anything in their power to make ends meet. This often sees children denied an education in favour of entering the workplace at an age where picking which crayon to use should be at the top of their list of worries.
Too many families are having to contend with the loss of their main source of income, with fathers and/or mothers leaving behind their children. The inadequate conditions they live in, mixed with poor access to medical facilities, means the life expectancy of under 70 is below the global average and considerably lower than other countries that feature in the list of top economies. While those living in more affluent areas of India can expect to live longer, the life expectancy of those in poverty significantly drags the average down due to poor conditions.
With millions of families living in poor conditions, that leaves the most vulnerable susceptible to exploitation such as child labour, as well as other crime. In 2019, the country recorded 405,861 cases of crime against women in 2019 alone as per official government statistics, which was a 7% rise on 2018 figures. Of these cases, 32,033 were rape – averaging at just over 87 per day. As this is purely the number of reported cases, the true number is likely to be far higher.
What UK Islamic Mission is Doing
UK Islamic Mission has support teams working on the ground in India dedicated to helping the poor. The work that they are doing, supported by your kind donations, is making a huge difference. We have already installed water hand pumps and community water wells, bringing clean water to thousands of families, and we've provided support for widows and orphans and supplied much-needed medical supplies.
However, we can and need to do more to help those in need. On our website, you will find a list of emergency appeals, many of which involve our work in India. The team aims to be as reactive as possible, ensuring that we are there to offer help and support as soon as it is required, regardless of the circumstances.
How You Can Support UK Islamic Mission
£50 – Feed a family for one month with a family food pack
£100 – Emergency survival pack including one family food pack, baby food, clothing, blankets and a hygiene kit
£200 – Supplies one hand pump which will provide clean and safe drinking water for up to 10 families
£360 / £30 pm – Sponsor an Orphan; provide shelter, clothing, food, shoes, education tuition fees and family support for one orphan child
£500 – Pays for one mobile healthcare camp, offering basic healthcare to 300 people
£1,080 / £90 pm – Sponsor three orphan siblings, providing shelter, clothing, food, shoes, education tuition fees and family support
£2,000 – Will fund a full community water well installation, proving clean water to hundreds and thousands of people
The winter months always bring extra pressure due to the cold and often freezing conditions which aid the spread of seasonal viruses and respiratory conditions. With millions of families living in poor, unsanitary conditions and overcrowded conditions, it does not take long at all for illness to spread. That, as a result, strains medical facilities with healthcare professionals unable to adequately treat every patient that comes to them.
To combat this, the UK Islamic Mission winter appeal helps to ensure that families have access to warm clothing, shelter and food to see them through the season. For those that do require medical assistance, we also work to provide medical facilities and supplies so that everyone who needs treatment can get it.
Additionally, as part of both our winter appeal and religious appeals, such as Ramadan and Qurbani, we are working to build mosques to allow men, women and children a place to come together in the presence of Allah (SWT). The winter will be hard whatever happens, but with your support, we can help make a difference.
There is no time to waste with millions of people living in poverty in India. Please give what you can today to UK Islamic Mission – families are depending on your support.