SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh State, in western India. Around two million people live in this rapidly growing city, with many industries in and around the city. However, in 1984, a poisonous gas leak killed tens of thousands of people and caused several thousand individuals permanent and partial disabilities. It has been called the world's worst industrial disaster, and its effects are still felt decades afterwards. Moreover, the city also struggles with poverty. This is a cause for both malnutrition and for gender inequality, to which children in Bhopal are most vulnerable.

Since 1990, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bhopal.

Of girls are married as a child

Children suffer from inequality

Gender inequality is a major issue in Madhya Pradesh, where Bhopal is located. To illustrate, in the state, 39% of girls were forced into marriage before the age of 18. This number had already decreased from 67% in the past. Child marriage is a violation of the universal declaration of human rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. Furthermore, literacy rates in Madhya Pradesh speak for themselves: the literacy rate for men is 81%, while the literacy rate for women is 65%. This could be due to the fact that girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys.

Children are underweight in Madhya Pradesh

Children suffer from malnutrition

Although India has experienced a rapid economic growth over the past years, food insecurity is still recurrent, and many people still suffer from acute hunger. Parents in Madhya Pradesh state struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 33% of children are underweight, and 35% of children experience stunting (low height for age), a result of undernutrition. Furthermore, 19% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.

Your support makes a different for children in Bhopal

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children painting at home. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Bhopal

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to empower parents. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.