Sakun is part of a Caritas Australia-funded program which includes strengthening traditional village governance, to improve access to government entitlements. Photo: Patrick Hansda/Caritas Australia.


With your generous support, we help to develop sustainable incomes, improve access to education and health services, and support women’s voices in the most marginalised communities in India.

Our work in India

India’s economic growth has been strong in recent years but extreme poverty and inequality remain widespread. Our work in India focuses on helping people to develop the tools and knowledge they need to build their own livelihoods. We also assist marginalised communities to access government entitlements. 

Click here for a snapshot of the work we have been doing in India for COVID-19.


We have been working with local communities in India since 1970


We support one program through one local partner in India


Sustainable livelihoods, human dignity, dialogue with duty bearers

The need for support in India

India’s economic influence is steadily on the rise. However, poverty, illiteracy, and inequalities remain, particularly in rural areas.

Poverty: Around 22% of the population lives below the national poverty line. Poverty rates in India’s poorest states, where Caritas Australia works, are 3 to 4 times higher than those in wealthier states.

Inequality: Continues to impact India’s most vulnerable groups, including women, indigenous people and those living with disabilities. Government programs exist to help poorer communities to close the gap, however, many are not aware of these services and are unsure of how to access them.

Disability: An estimated 80 million people in India are living with a disability, around 69% of them in rural areas. Low literacy, few jobs, and widespread social stigma mean they are among the most excluded people in India.

Our program work in India

Photo: Caritas Australia.

Community Led Governance and Development (GRAM NIRMAN)

Running since: 2017

Partner Agency: Caritas India

Aims: To empower the most vulnerable, marginalised communities to lead their own development, with a focus on sustainable livelihoods and collective actions to provide better bargaining power with local governance systems

Who it is for: Tribes and Scheduled Castes in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh states (‘Scheduled Tribes' and 'Scheduled Castes’) are the most marginalised groups in India.


  • So far, the program supports 130 community-led groups
  • Various aims of these groups include disability support, women’s participation, dialogue with duty bearers, self-help and networking.
  • The most marginalised community members, including women, children, transgender people and the elderly, are actively involved in these groups.
  • Some act as group leaders, helping communities to ensure access to entitlements, including disability, aged, and widow pensions from the government.
  • Distributed masks, hygiene kits, shared preventive health messages and conducted training sessions during COVID-19 pandemic.

Fact: Around 20,000 people are expected to benefit from this program

You can help

With your generous support, our programs target the poorest and most marginalised in India. We focus particularly on vulnerable caste groups, women and children, helping them to develop sustainable livelihoods, human dignity and dialogue with duty bearers.

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You can provide critical lifesaving aid and assistance to the communities in India devastated by earthquakes, cyclones, flooding or conflicts. Your donation means that our partners on the ground can respond quickly and efficiently when disasters strike.

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