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WHY INDIA?


1 out of 3 unreached people in the world live in India

There are 7 billion people on earth today. 3 billion are unreached by the gospel. 1 billion live in India.

There are over 4,000 distinct people groups in India, and over 1,500 languages spoken. Of the nearly 1.3 billion people that call India 'home', less than 3% are born again Christians and followers of Jesus Christ. Nearly 80% of Indians practice Hinduism and are taught to worship of a myriad of gods. Another 12% of Indians practice some form of Islam, making India over 85% unreached. India is a land of people desperately needing the good news of Jesus Christ (Source: Operation World). Each of the red dots represents unreached people groups (groups that have no access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ). India has the highest concentration of unreached people groups in a single country in the world.(Photo from The Joshua Project)



WHY LOVE AND SERVE ORPHANS & NEEDY CHILDREN IN INDIA?

India has the largest number of estimated orphans and vulnerable children in the world: 35 MILLION!

  • BIG PICTURE: The needs in India are overwhelming. India has approximately three times the population of the United States living in one third of the space. Introduce intense poverty (average less than $2 per day), famine, drought, natural disasters, and AIDS, and you have a recipe for tragedy and most significantly, vulnerable children. No country can rival India's children in need. Of India's nearly 400 million under 18, over 70 million are child laborers, 10 million are bonded laborers (a form of slavery to pay off family debts), 13 million are homeless, 2 million are street children without families. There are an estimated 35 million orphans (all of sub-Saharan Africa has 43 million). 9% of all children in India are orphans.
  • Children with HIV/AIDS: India has the 3rd-largest HIV-positive population in the world, with an estimated 2.1 million. 60,000 children per year are born with HIV in India and that number continues to significantly increase. Overall, AIDS has spread rapidly in India and some estimates have said that by 2020 there could be 200 million carrying HIV.
  • Malnourishment & Starvation: Four out of 10 of the world's malnourished children live in India. India has more malnourished children than all of Africa. In fact, nearly half of India's children are underweight, and 75% suffer from anemia. Overall, Malnutrition affects nearly half of all children under age five in India. Worldwide, malnutrition accounts for about half of all deaths of children under the age of five. 3,000 children die daily due to illnesses caused from starvation and malnutrition in India.
  • Highest infant mortality rate: India has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. One infant dies every 15 seconds in this country.
  • Children sold as sex slaves: An estimated 1.2 million children are sex slaves in India; either kidnapped off the streets and sold to brothels or sold by their own families who value money more than their children. Simply put, children are marketable goods in India. Sex trafficking is affecting younger and younger children. There is widespread child abuse, and there is a deficit of 40 million girls because of female feticide - over 20,000 ultrasound clinics thrive on this illegal practice. There are 575,000 child prostitutes and there is a massive trade in Bangladeshi and Nepali girls sold into prostitution.
  • Abandoned girls: There are more than 11 million abandoned children in India, and more than 90% of them are girls. A cultural bias toward sons over daughters has created massive problems for Indian girls. According to Hindu tradition, a son is expected to take his elderly parents into his home and light their funeral pyre when they die, ensuring that they are "heaven-bound". A daughter, on the other hand, will require an enormous dowry paid by her father to the groom's family. The amount negotiated for bride dowries is staggering and leaves many families deeply in debt, often for the rest of their lives. Many families will tolerate a first daughter, but second and third daughters pose unbearable economic problems because of the dowry custom.
  • Gender selection: As a result of the preference for sons, daughters are often disposed of early in their life in heartbreaking ways. The British medical journal The Lancet reported that an estimated 500,000 abortions are performed each year specifically for gender selection, despite gender-selective abortions being outlawed. Families that cannot afford a sonogram and subsequent abortion might wait until the birth and if it is a female quietly suffocate the infant at night or, more humanely, leave the baby at the gate of the nearest orphanage.
  • Child labor: 50% of the girls in India do not enroll in school because they are made to stay home and care for younger siblings or help their mothers with household chores. Many children are forced to work in factories, mines or as domestic help to bring in income for the family. There are over 70 million child workers in India. These are not kids with summer jobs; these are young children working full-time in dangerous and exhausting situations.
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