India

We work with our two long-standing affiliates HelpAge India and GRAVIS to address the needs of a rapidly ageing population and their families.

We support their programmes from our Regional Development Centre in Bangladesh.

HelpAge India has 33 offices throughout India and works on health, social protection and disasters. They also advocate with national and local government to bring about policy change that is beneficial to the elderly.

GRAVIS is primarily concerned with the people of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. They work with desert communities to develop long-term solutions to increasing desertification and natural degradation and persistent drought.

Life story: Meera, 60

Meera makes a living from making and selling incense sticks. Meera makes a living from making and selling incense sticks. Meera lives in extreme poverty but she manages to earn some income by making and selling incense sticks.

She loves coming to TEV - an older people's village supported by HelpAge India.

She says: "Before coming to TEV, I was alone. There was no one to care for me. I like it very much here. I have friends here. I don't want to go anywhere else.

"My husband left me two years ago. I had one son and one daughter but they both passed away.

"After my husband left, my situation got worse. Finally, I told my local elders self-help group that I couldn't support myself. They told me about TEV and asked me to join.

"Here at the older people's village, I help my roommate who is blind. I care for her, do the washing, keep the room clean and make sure she has her mosquito net.

"I learnt how to make these sticks here. It is good work and helps me pass time. About seven of us make some 100 boxes a month. From this we make a profit of 150 rupees (US$3.5) each.

"I want to live here at the older people's village for the rest of my days."

The difference we made in 2010-11:

  • We worked with more than 8,000 older people and their associations to improve their access to financial and health services.
  • 4,500 older people in the Thar Desert benefited from home care services provided by village health volunteers trained by GRAVIS.
  • More than 10,000 older men and 19,000 older women received free healthcare through HelpAge India's mobile medical units.

What next?

We are aiming to continue our existing programme of work including:

  • A continuation of our existing work with more than 12,000 older people in accessing their rights to secure incomes and health services.
  • A continuation of our support to HelpAge India's mobile medical units supporting round 30,000 older people.
  • An additional 6,000 older people receiving cataract operations.
  • An additional 1,500 older people in the Thar desert will receive help with their agriculture and livestock activities.

Our affiliates

HelpAge India, Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS)

Our donors

Age UK, Big Lottery Fund (UK), European Commission, Sponsor a Grandparent

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Striking facts

  • An estimated 40% of Indians still live below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

  • By 2025, 160 million Indians will be aged 60 and over.

  • Older women in India are more than three times more likely to be illiterate than their grand-daughters (24% younger women, 80% older women).

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Contact us

Peter McGeachie - Regional Director, South Asia

HelpAge International Nepal PO Box 21299
1st Floor Sirin Building Kupandole -INAR Lalitpur, Nepal.

Tel: +(977) 01 555 3589, 5545 623 (Ext. 105)

Email: info.np@helpagesa.org