It's estimated that there are up to 20 million orphaned children in India, with another 18 million children living or working on the streets. Female abandonment remains a serious problem, and because of deep poverty in the rural regions, child labor is common.
LWB has begun a pilot project in partnership with the NGO Khusi Hona. Our work is centered in the Bundelkhand region, which has eight of the poorest districts in India. This region is largely inhabited by both tribal groups and Dalits (previously called the "untouchables.") Since 2003 this area has been hit by almost continual severe drought, and the children in the region have truly suffered.
Our efforts in India are focused in four rural villages which have little to no access to medical facilities or to the basic, yet critical information about pediatric health care. Through this new project, a medical outreach team travels to the villages on a weekly basis to provide access to vitamins, medicines, and basic primary care. When the team identifies children with critical health issues, such as severe malnutrition, heart defects, or tumors, LWB helps provide surgeries and treatment through our medical program.
Abandonment remains the number one reason why Indian children end up in orphanage care. Babies with medical issues are at the highest risk of both abandonment and even infanticide. If we can prevent even one more child from becoming orphaned in India, we will be so thankful.