Home to one sixth of the world’s population, India is a country in South Asia roughly half the size of Australia in area. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Burma and Bangladesh to the east. As India’s population continues to grow, natural resources are becoming increasingly strained, and despite a rapidly expanding economy, job opportunities are limited for those who are uneducated and unskilled. With India’s economic growth concentrated in the service industry, particularly in IT, those without education and training are largely excluded from this growth industry, thus deepening the divide between the rich and the poor. One major reason for the increasing disparity is the lack of universal access to education, which is caused by low public spending, caste discrimination, a poor curriculum and a shortage of trained teachers.
Adult illiteracy rate (% aged 15 and over)<137.2
Population living below PPP US$1.25 a day (%)0.041.6
Average years of schooling (years)12.04.4
Population with at least secondary education (% ages 25 and older)95.1 (female); 97.2 (male)26.6 (female); 50.4 (male)
*Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2011
Global Concern in India:
Love Anuppampattu Communtiy Development Program
Project background: From the humble days of sewing classes under a tree with one treadle machine, the Love Anuppampattu Vocational Training Program began in 2004 with the aim of building the skills of local village women so that they would have increased income opportunities. Soon afterwards, Global Concern was donated a piece of land from which a vocational training centre (doubling as a primary school) was built. By 2005, the construction of the Love Anuppampattu Vocational Training Centre/Primary School was complete, giving access to poor unskilled women of the village the opportunity to undertake vocational training in sewing and tailoring.
Project description: The training program runs free six-month sewing and tailoring courses for poor unskilled women in the Anuppampattu community. At the end of the course, the women each receive a certificate of achievement from the Centre that indicates their completion of the training. The program also offers a subsidised savings scheme for a select few that have graduated from the course and in desperate need of a sewing machine to start earning an income. The scheme offers to pay for 50% of the cost of the machine if the women are able to pay for the other 50%.
Some statistics: Global Concern followed the progress of 215 women that had graduated from our vocational training program since its inception in 2004 and found the following:
- 62% of them had utilised their training to land jobs at local garment export factories making clothes. These factories have been visited by Global Concern staff and found to be basic, but safe and hygienic and the women were happy to work there.
- 27% of them had purchased their own sewing machine or were engaged in Global Concern’s savings scheme, which allowed them to start their own tailoring business from home or even their own shops.
- Income has more than tripled amongst the graduated women, increasing from approximately 30Rs a day (70 cents) as a daily labourer to now 100 – 150Rs a day ($2.50-$3) working in tailoring.
Story: Prema (right) was a housewife with no skills and no income. She relied solely on her husband who earned Rs 75 ($1.50) a day as a van cleaner. This measly income supported the whole family – including Prema, her husband and their two sons. They lived in a single room mud hut with a thatched roof and owned nothing.
Prema undertook Global Concern’s sewing training course in 2005, which afterwards landed her a job at a local garment factory. This gave her an earning of Rs 2,500 ($55) a month, which she said was a good salary for her. While she worked at the factory, Prema diligently saved 10% of her earnings each month for a sewing machine. When she had saved 50% of the cost of the machine, Global Concern contributed the other 50%, and then Prema was on her way to become her own boss.
Since having her own machine, she now earns double what she did at the factory. With the money, she was able to build a concrete house for her and her family to live in. Not only does Prema still do all the domestic duties of cooking and cleaning, she also brings in the main income for the family, which now includes her in-laws too. She is thankful to Global Concern for changing her life, from the unskilled and dependent housewife she once was, to the capable and empowered breadwinner that she is today.
What is still needed:
In order to help more women like Prema, Global Concern welcomes donations to support the Love Annuppampattu Vocational Training Centre so that more underprivileged women can develop the skills they need to build a better future for them and their families. It costs only $375 to provide six months of training to each woman and $170 for their sewing machine. Make a donation today to help support Global Concern in our efforts to improve the lives of poor women in South India.
Love Annupampattu Primary School
Project background: Since its construction in 2005, the Love Annupampattu Primary School has been providing free primary education to the children of Annupampattu village in Chennai, South India. The school gives particular priority to girls and those children of a low caste, aiming to provide an education to children who otherwise would not have been able to afford schooling. Through the primary school, Global Concern hopes to provide these children an opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty that grips the illiterate in India.
Project description: Global Concern provides vital funding to employ staff members in the school such as teachers, teacher assistants, cooks, cleaners and administration staff. The funding also supports the purchase of meals, medicines, uniforms, textbooks and equipment for the students, as well as covering the general operational costs of the school. The school teaches in English, which was the preferred choice of the parents of the children as they felt that with increasing international business and trade in Chennai, an English medium education would increase opportunities for their children.
Some statistics: Global Concern’s Love Annupampattu Primary School sets 50% as the pass mark and ensures our students achieve this level and beyond. In 2012, all of our students passed with 50% or more thanks to our motivated staff who worked with the students’ families and the wider community to provide regular feedback.
What is still needed: While the Love Annupampattu Primary School provides quality education to its students, a high school is required to ensure the opportunity for secondary education is available. Global Concern has purchased 2.75 acres of land 100 metres away from the primary school and now is in need of funding to begin its construction. Below is the breakdown of the some current needs: