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Empowerment of Excluded Castes in Punjab and West Bengal (India)

Religious and caste discrimination is one of the leading causes of poverty and social exclusion in India. This has prevented access to basic services, including education, livelihood, health facilities and other government services and schemes for large sections of society.

We support the local churches in India to provide services such as study centres for children from vulnerable backgrounds; life skills education for adolescents (especially girls); women’s economic empowerment through their involvement in self-help groups; awareness raising activities on environmental concerns through tree plantation campaigns, installation of submersible pumps in West Bengal (to improve irrigation and farming practices), and waste reduction drives; and through these activities to empower marginalised communities, enabling them to be organised, resilient, educated and healthy, involved in local governance and capable of accessing government services and schemes.

Our projects in India now have an increased focus on cross-cutting issues including gender equality, disability and social inclusion, to ensure the work is effective in reaching socially disadvantaged groups, preventing unintended harm, exclusion and further marginalisation, and by promoting rights, equitable opportunities and benefits for all community members.

The projects operate in the rural communities and urban slums of West Bengal and in rural communities in Amritsar near the Pakistani border areas.

You can help!




This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, we’re making a huge difference together; lifting families out of poverty and helping people improve their lives.





Church of North India – Diocese of Amritsar and Diocese of Durgapur


Poverty Alleviation

News from the field

  • Hopeful news from our partners in IndiaHopeful news from our partners in India
    Update on the COVID-19 outreach activities of the Diocese of Amritsar Last week we received some encouraging news from our partners in the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India, who’ve been at the forefront of community outreach and support during the COVID-19 outbreaks. The second wave has been particularly devastating, pushing the number of deaths over 400,000 in July this year. Thankfully, our partners report that the situation is improving, but have stressed the need to address the long-term impacts: “India has ...
  • COVID-19 crisis response in IndiaCOVID-19 crisis response in India
    The Church of North India Diocese of Durgapur have pivoted their ongoing community development work to supporting vulnerable households identified through the project. Throughout May, 2,000 households in urban slums and rural communities were provided with food packs containing rice, pulses, potato, salt and oil, as well as hygiene supplies that included masks and soap. Our partners are also working on printing materials that promote government-authorised messages on COVID-19. In Amritsar, 4,000 masks have been made and provided to the community ...
  • ‘Hunger may kill us before coronavirus’ | India COVID-19 Update'Hunger may kill us before coronavirus' | India COVID-19 Update
    In a letter to national and international partners, the Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar, The Most Rev. P. K. Samantaroy has outlined the impacts of the national 21-day lockdown in India and how the Church of North India (CNI) is responding to the COVID-19 crisis.   Dear Friends, As of the morning of 30 March 2020, over 700,000 people worldwide have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and 34,000 people have died due to the virus. The staggering numbers are rising every ...
    In 2015, the Community Development Programme (CDP) in Sarenga had organised a skills training seminar to train the local youth in repairing drinking water pumps. After receiving this training Marshall Tudu repaired the pumps in his village, thus, solving the drinking water crisis that the village had been facing for a long time. The happy villagers collected Rs. 300INR to pay Tudu for his services. This was the beginning of a new opportunity for Marshal, who so far had been ...