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A Few Facts.
The stats on India are truly staggering and way beyond what anyone can comprehend as far as the depth of the need and deprivation. Here are just a few of the facts:
UNICEF reports, in India:
• there are over 25 million orphans
• 5,000 children under 5 die every day due to preventable causes
The World Health Organization confirms:
• In the world: 49% of underweight children, 34% of stunted children and 46% of wasted children, ALL LIVE IN INDIA.
According to the United Nations:
• 27.5% of Indians live BELOW the poverty line
These things we do so others may live. We believe the Jesus Christ of the Bible is real and that we take His words at face value. He meant it when He said that believers should take care of the orphans and widows. The children whom OAI serves are a forgotten population to the Indian government. India’s welfare program benefits do not reach these children, the poorest of the poor, even when natural disasters occur.
Most people living in the thousands of villages across north India live in want, held back from advancing due to widespread illiteracy, superstition, injustice and the poverty that results. Most do farm labor for tiny pay, often misused by landowners. Their chance of improving their lot in life are non-existent. It’s the same grinding poverty and routine from birth to death.
Living conditions are dismal, hygiene is not practiced due to a lack of even basic knowledge of hygiene practices and unsafe water. The result is the spread of diseases and overall poor health. Addictions – especially to cheap alcohol – drives families further into poverty and even debt. Villagers have been illiterate for generations. Parents realize the importance of education, but most do not send their children due to the lack of good schools. Some village schools do exist, but all too often education is inferior from teachers whose attendance is only sporadic or totally lacking. As the children receive poor education, they cannot pass government exams and advance. Soon their schooling ends, forever.
Because of the traditional preference for the male child (who will take care of his parents in their old age) and the oppressive dowry system that requires parents to give a dowry for their daughter to be married, girls may be aborted, killed at birth, or largely neglected and unwanted. Their plight is the most dismal among all who are suffering.