India is the largest democracy in the world, with a population of more than a billion.
Although its economy has expanded rapidly in recent years, the country contains the largest concentration of poor people in the world and almost half of children are underweight (one of the highest rates globally).
ActionAid in India
ActionAid India was our first country programme, established in 1972 it now reaches over one million people.
Through a network of over 300 local organisations and community groups we work to improve the status of poor and marginalised people – mainly Dalits ('untouchables' in the Indian caste system), tribal people, women, children, homeless and disabled people.
A voice for women
"I visited the shelter and got the chance to bathe with soap, use oil and comb my hair which I had not done for ages."
70 per cent of the female workforce is engaged in agriculture, yet only 10 per cent own land. Our HungerFREE campaign supports the rights of landless women farmers.
Initiatives include savings and credit schemes to help farmers invest in their own small farms or new farming equipment.
Health and sanitation
Health services are limited in rural areas, and ActionAid India works to provide mobile clinics to provide care for pregnant women, immunisation for children and regular health checks.
We also train local community health workers and campaign to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS (India has the second largest number of people in the world now living with HIV/AIDS).
More than half of all Indian children drop out of school before the age of 14 and the majority are female.