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Our main priorities in India are to decrease malnutrition among children and to protect them against exploitation. Terre des hommes also provides emergency assistance to families affected by natural disasters.

The situation in India

40% of Indian children suffer from malnutrition. This statistic is all the more alarming when you consider that the country has the second-highest population worldwide. Despite a fast-growing economy, most children do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, causing disease to spread rapidly. Children and youths are often forced to marry before adulthood and are exposed to exploitation. In addition, India is particularly prone to natural disasters.

What we do

Mother and child health

In the Sundarbans region, Tdh works to eliminate malnutrition among newborns and children under the age of five. Check-ups are carried out in the community to test for moderate and severe malnutrition. Those children receive treatment in a centre specialised in nutrition. Our local experts give talks to raise awareness of the gravity of this condition among parents and in the community and offer them advice on how to provide their children with a healthy, balanced diet. Over 25,000 mothers and fathers took part in these talks in 2015.

Water and hygiene

In order to grant children and their parents better access to water and sanitation facilities, our local teams build and renovate communal toilets and handwashing facilities, install drinking fountains and organise for waste to be sorted and collected. They also disinfect water tanks and manual pumps. In parallel, Tdh runs a programme in schools to teach children how to adopt good hygiene habits. 30,000 children took part in this programme in 2015.

Preventing exploitation

Tdh supports and works with the local authorities to improve the protection of children that have been subject to trafficking. Terre des hommes runs emergency centres where these youths can take part in recreational and sport activities and where they receive psychological care from our experts. In 2015, nearly 8,000 children were cared for in these centres. Community members, social workers and local NGO employees are trained to support them and help them readapt to living with their families. Police officers and other professionals also receive training on legal aspects of child protection and their fundamental rights.

Preventing natural disasters and providing emergency relief

All of the areas in which we work in India are prone to flooding and cyclones. In the event of a natural disaster, we react immediately by distributing food, hygiene items and school supplies to children and families in need. Our experts also facilitate access to clean water and improve sanitation. A number of hand pumps have therefore been raised in order to provide drinking water during floods. Terre des hommes is currently providing emergency aid to more than 10,000 people.

"Manjuara, 9 months old, suffered from severe acute malnutrition. After being admitted to hospital, she benefited from Tdh's project targeting malnutrition in India's West Bengal region."

Manjuara, a young girl cured of malnutrition


Where we work

Terre des hommes in India

Beneficiaries in 2015

85,151 people

Expatriate staff / National staff

2 / 13

Budget 2016

CHF 896,000.-

Programme locations

West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kashmir, Telangana, Assam

Local partners

Sundarban Social Development Center, Human Development Center, Praajak, HELP, Gram-Utthan, NGOs Coordination Federation Jammu & Kashmir

Supported by


Terre des hommes starts working in India by helping local children’s education organisations.
Launch of a project to support children whose parents are living with HIV/AIDS.
Start of a project to build 40 wells to ensure access to drinking water for 8,000 families.
Two reconstruction projects were launched after the tsunami.
Official opening of our delegation in India.
Beginning of the project “I am in school” to support conflict-affected children with a safe environment.

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Related publications

Making an Impact for Children: Annual Report 2015.
Thematic Policy - Mother and Child Health
Thematic policy - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Related publications