History of Country
From Himalayan peaks in the north to sandy beaches in the south, India has one of the most diverse landscapes and climates in the world.
Over 1 billion people from all faiths and cultures live in India, accounting for roughly one sixth of the world’s population.
In 1947 India gained independence from Britain and was partitioned into the separate countries of India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh. Tensions with Pakistan persist over the disputed region of Kashmir and have sparked three border wars. A ceasefire was finally agreed in November 2003.
Despite India’s emergence as an economic power, it is home to the largest concentration of poor people in the world.
Some 280 million people live below the poverty line and over a third of the population survive on less than $1 a day.
Islamic Relief's History
Over half of all Indian children are malnourished
IR has been working with local organisations in India since 1994. Projects include orphan sponsorship, seasonal Ramadan and Qurbani food distributions and emergency relief.
In August 2006 heavy rains caused extensive flooding in the western state of Gujarat. IR set up relief camps in Surat district and volunteers ran community kitchens and rescue teams. An initial £10,000 was allocated to rebuild homes in Surat and the funds were used to help with housing for slum-dwellers.
Much of south-east India was hit by the 2004 tsunami. IR provided emergency relief to survivors in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. IR also responded to the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat and the 1999 cyclone in Orissa.
The Orphan Sponsorship Programme has been running in Kerala and Karnataka since 1997 and was expanded to Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat recently with over 1000 children receiving sponsorship. The sponsorship program base was expanded to provide schoolbags, stationery and also medical care to sponsored orphans and their families.
Islamic Relief also supported a vocational training program for women in 2008 and is currently implementing an Education Program funded by the European Commission through its partner Grassroots India Trust in Western Uttar Pradesh.