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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, health facilities and other government services and schemes for large sections of society.

We support the local church to provide study centres for children of illiterate families, and connecting through them to empower marginalised communities, enabling them to be organised, educated and healthy, involved in local governance and capable of accessing government services and schemes.

The project operates in the urban slums of West Bengal and in 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.

Check out the impact we’re making!

Our Impact (FY 21-22)

27,917 people were impacted by:

• Study centres with trained teachers providing remedial education (and healthy snacks!) for children of illiterate families

• Skills training for women and farmers in rural areas to grow their incomes and prevent them from having to travel far away for work

• COVID-19 emergency relief and prevention activities, as well as critical information for marginalised communities about how to access government support services.



In response to COVID-19, this project will seek to provide food packages to families connected to the project. Our partners have been speeding up the dissemination of messaging on COVID-19, including health awareness, prevention measures and response to families connected to this project. Because of the restrictions on travel and social distancing project staff have been running check in’s to houses of families connected to the project (after lock-down).

Through working closely with the government, project staff are working to speed up access to medicines for people in the rural areas who have no or limited access to transport to urban areas.

(Updates about the above activities have been posted in news articles below)





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


Poverty Alleviation

News from the field

  • 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 ...