UNICEF is fully committed to working with the Government of India to ensure that each child born in this vast and complex country gets the best start in life, thrives and develops to his or her full potential.
The organisation began its work in India in 1949 with three staff members and established an office in Delhi three years later. Currently, it advocates for the rights of India’s children in 16 states.
India is home to the largest number of children in the world with nearly 40 per cent of its estimated 1.2 billion population under the age of 18. The gross domestic product (GDP) in India has grown at a decent average over the last five years. However, the economic growth has not yielded commensurate results in the reduction of poverty and disparity.
About 1 in 3 child lives in poverty and close to 53 per cent of adolescent girls and 30 per cent of adolescent boys are anemic. More than 6 million children aged 6-14 years drop out before they complete the full eight year elementary education cycle. While 1 in 4 women was married before the age of 18 and 10.1 million are engaged in child labour.
UNICEF’s goal is to advance the rights of children, adolescents and women to survival, growth, development, participation and protection by reducing inequities based on caste, ethnicity, gender, poverty, region or religion.
UNICEF utilises a multi-pronged approach to addressing pressing issues of health, nutrition, sanitation, education and child protection. It aims to involve families and community members in understanding their contribution to ensure their children thrive while providing a platform for young community champions to emerge and inspire.
UNICEF uses community level knowledge and quality research to comprehend issues, create and introduce easily implementable innovative interventions that address the situation of children, and works with partners to create ground level change.
Read about UNICEF's history in India...