The Republic of India is in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country with more than 1.2 billion people and the most populous democracy in the world. Home to the ancient Indus Valley civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium and shaped the region’s diverse culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early 18th century and colonized by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th century, India became
an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence, marked by a non-violent resistance led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
India is one of the world’s largest economies by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and purchasing power parity (PPP). Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1991, India has become one of the fastest growing major economies in the world; however the country continues to face severe poverty, illiteracy, corruption and public health related challenges. A recent study showed that more than 68 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
Heifer's Work in India
Heifer International started working through its new office in India in 2009, focusing on Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu (where Heifer works among the tsunami affected communities). In these four states, projects are implemented with the support of ten local NGO partners.
Participants have also built their capacity through participating in various trainings, such as Cornerstones, self-help group (SHG) management, kitchen gardening, gender, justice and improved animal management. All these trainings have empowered the participants and increased their leadership qualities. The projects have had an impact on three levels—on the ground, above the ground and below the ground.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Improved animal management, kitchen gardens produced with compost, forage and fodder planting and storage, community-based disaster-risk management, water harvesting, sanitation and hygiene
Post-harvest management and processing: Food grain storage and food waste management
Market development: Self-help groups are trained to form cooperatives, develop business plans and access the goat and dairy value chain
Technology: Social capital formation, improved animal management, improved cooking stoves and sanitation
Nutrition: Training on human nutrition, sanitation and hygiene
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Heifer India participant, Jaituna Ameen Khan, recites 12 Cornerstones of Heifer International
Anandi Jatav is an example of what women's empowerment can do.
Dr. Panda and Mr. Prusty watch as Heifer India project participants participate in a Passing on the Gift ceremony.
“In the last six months, the biggest change has been that from a thatched house. I have been able to build a concrete house.” —Rukkhi Devi
Ladies from various Women's Groups in Bihar, India break it down and show us how it is done!