- Estimated 363 million (29.5% of population) live below poverty line of making less than $1 a day (Indian Government Planning Commission Report, 2014)
- 37.2% illiteracy rate (World Bank Indicators, 2006)
- Mortality rate (under 5 years of age) of 52.7 per 1000 births (World Bank Indicators, 2013)
When many think of India economically, they think of a booming middle class, progress, innovation in IT, engineering and the like. HITEC City, pictured left, is emblematic of the kind of strides India has made.
Behind the glitz and glamour, the reality is a massive gap between haves and have nots. Government social services are virtually nonexistent. The impoverished cannot afford to send their children to school, and cannot afford NOT to have many children, knowing full well that the only support that their kids may have in the future is each other. In these circumstances, the loss of a parent is devastating; a virtual life sentence of extreme poverty with no hope of escaping the vicious cycle.
The outlook of children forced to live on the streets or the many poorly managed, oversight-less institutions is very bleak. They are subjected to situations that no child should ever endure. Poverty, hunger, poor sanitation, disease, and child labor on hazardous work are just a few of the struggles faced by these vulnerable children.
In addition to the challenges of poverty, so many vulnerable orphans are preyed upon by those charged with their care. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and forced prostitution are just some of the horrors that are a daily reality for so many Indian children. Often times the very people that are supposed to care and protect them: the police, orphanage workers, social services agents, are the perpetrators of the vicious crimes that rob these children of their innocence and trust in humanity. In 2009, the head of India's Central Bureau of Investigation estimated 1.2 million children are forced into prostitution. 800 active agencies involved in child trafficking were identified in 2012.
We are striving to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation one orphan at a time by creating a safe haven; providing basic needs as well as higher needs of education and treatment with dignity while remaining anchored in Islam and one's ultimate purpose. This is the Al-Falah difference. We not only provide food, water, shelter and the like, but strive to raise the orphaned to be self-confident, productive young men and women with a solid foundation to succeed both in this world and the next.