Why India?

Poverty impacts families and young people in several ways, rendering them vulnerable to exploitation, disease, malnourishment and situations which place them in conflict with the law.


In India, poverty impacts health-and education-seeking behaviour negatively, reinforcing gender stereotypes and a culture of inequality and discrimination.


Here are the facts:


  • 70% of the population lives on less than $1 per day
  • 33% of urban populations live in slums1


Gender inequality

  • Girls are 50% more likely than boys to die in childhood3
  • Only 1% of girls graduate high school
  • 19% of women between the ages of 15 and 17 are already married4 thus negatively impacting their health and life opportunities
  • 37% of female youth have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence from their husbands5



  • 72% children of primary-school age attend primary school while only 51% children of secondary-school age attend secondary school2
  • As a result, only 29% of young women and 38% of young men complete 10 or more years of education


Poor health

  • 2 million Indian children die every year as a result of serious malnutrition and preventable diseases6 - this equates to 4 children every minute
  • 44% of women and 47% of men aged 15-24 are abnormally thin, while 56% of women and 25% of men aged 15-24 are anaemic7



  • 31% of the population is under 15 and 80% of young people entering the workplace have no vocational training8




1. United Nations Economic and Social Council 2006 (E/CN.4/2006/44/Add.2 20)
2. National Family Health Survey, 2005-06 (NFHS – 3)
3. World Bank WDR 2005
4. A Profile of Youth in India, NFHS 3 (2005-06)
5. A Profile of Youth in India, NFHS 3 (2005-06)
6. United Nations Economic and Social Council 2006 (E/CN.4/2006/44/Add.2 20) & UNDP 2007-2008
7. A Profile of Youth in India, NFHS 3 (2005-06)
8. Indian Government Census 2011



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