Large swaths of the Indian population remain desperately poor despite the country’s rapid economic growth, led by the flourishing private sector. These communities are often unable to access basic amenities and services, and have limited access to opportunities offered by the growing economy. Millions of people are especially vulnerable to the impact of disasters and may lose their fragile livelihoods and homes all at once if a natural disaster strikes.
- Emergency response: Responding to human suffering in the aftermath of disasters with emergency supplies, cash distributions, and water and sanitation services.
- Agriculture & Food: Linking farmers to markets and supporting them with tools and resources to improve productivity and increase incomes.
- Children & Youth: Teaching proper hygiene in schools to reduce disease, and empowering young people through leadership training.
- Health: Working with rural communities to provide water and sanitation facilities and encourage proper hygiene practices that positively impact community health.
- Economic opportunity: Training unemployed youth from tea-growing families and connecting them with jobs. Helping small businesses run by women improve and grow through management and technical resources.
India: Shubina, the bee-keeper of Kashmir
The upper Kashmir Valley, lined by the foothills of the Himalayas, is an idyllic spot for raising honeybees. Saffron and mustard flowers, apple blossoms and acacia blanket the valley.
India: The beginning of learning more
When I was in Assam last month visiting with women in our literacy programs, I heard the same sentiment over and over again: the women want to learn more now. Some want to learn English or develop their abilities in their native Assamese — but mostly they have gained confidence in their ab
India: One in ninety-eight
Ninety-eight. That's the number of kids in Rajan Tiru's class. He's in class nine — the equivalent of ninth grade in the U.S. Next year he'll be in class 10 and will need to pass a big exam so he can continue his studies.
India: What's wrong with this picture?
I took this photo almost exactly three years ago, while I was on assignment writing about our programs in northeastern India's Assam state.
India: A future of reading on India’s tea estates
India: Catching up with old friends
I should clarify that before a few weeks ago, I had never met Sonia and Rima. But when we met, I felt like I was catching up with old friends. I knew about the challenges they faced growing up on Assam's tea estates — and their aspirations to own their own successful beauty salon.
India: Cheers for soccer ring across the Himalayan hillsides
The kickoff for this year's One Day One Goal soccer tournament in northeastern India took place on a freshly-developed playing field in the village of Upper Kolbong. This playfield can currently accommodate two teams at a time, playing seven players to a side.
India: You're invited...
This morning I woke up thinking about the Motadhura Community near the Tumsong Tea Estate in Darjeeling. Really. Because today they are officially celebrating the construction of their new Community Learning Center — thanks to the help of Mercy Corps and TAZO Tea's CHAI program.
India: "I want to learn more!"
Anjana Tanti thinks she's about 35. Age is not something people pay much attention to on the tea estates, where she grew up and now raises her own family.
India: Staging a sit-in to demand a future
Last May, about 40 teens showed up at Mercy Corps' office in Assam to stage a sit-in. They had hired a truck to take them from their homes surrounding the Maud Tea Estate to Mercy Corps' Assam office...not an easy drive.