The Need

The State of Abandoned and Orphaned Children in India

Abandoned and orphaned children in India endure lives beyond what many of us can imagine. Many run away from abusive family lives or are left abandoned when their parents pass away. Some get separated from their parents in a large crowd never to be reunited again, and others are given up by parents who are too poor to give them the life they deserve.

The statistics are heart breaking. Only 1.4% of over 31 million orphaned children in India receive any sort of formal care in a shelter or orphanage. Domestic adoption is abysmally low at only 3,210 children per year. Too many others are often forced into a life as sex workers, child laborers, or beggars on the streets.

Statistics on Indian Children

  • 23.6 Million Orphaned, Abandoned, or Lost Children
  • 1.4% Orphaned, Abandoned, or Lost Children in Formal Care
  • Low Adoption Rate of 3,374 Children/Year (2018)
  • 6 Million Child Sex Workers
  • 33 Million Child Laborers
  • 18 Million Children Live/Work on the Street

The Udayan Ghar Program helps to address these needs.

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The State of Girl’s Education in India

With a historical bias towards the education of male children amongst poverty stricken families, girls are often denied an education. To reduce their financial burden, families will often marry their daughters at young ages or require them to join the workforce to support the family, both of which require them to quit school. The statistics of girls’ education are disturbing:

“In India, girls’ education is often considered the lowest priority, in particular, girl’s higher education.  A 2017 National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights’ (NCPCR report), also echoes similar worries that around 39.4 percent of adolescent girls in the 15-18 age group are not attending any educational institution, and a huge majority – almost 65 percent – of them are “either tied up in household activities, are dependents (married), or, are forced to beg, etc.”

The female labour force participation in India has fallen to 26% in 2018 from 36.7% in 2005, amid lack of access to quality education and underlying social, economic barriers limiting the opportunities for women. The world average stood at 48.47 percent in 2018 (World Bank report, 2018).

The Udayan Shalini Fellowship Program helps to address these needs.