Faridabad is the most populous city of the Haryana state, and because it is only 30 kilometers from New Delhi, it is also part of the Delhi Capital Region.Around two million people live in this city, which is known for being one of the most polluted cities in India. Faridabad is experiencing rapid population growth, thanks to a booming economic growth and its proximity to India’s capital. However, the city’s infrastructure cannot keep up and many people moving here end up living in slums. Children are at risk due to the challenging living conditions.
Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Faridabad.
India has the highest number of child marriages in the world. This means a harrowing 27% of women aged 20 to 24 were first married before 18. Child marriage is a violation of the universal declaration of human rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancies and domestic violence.
In Haryana state specifically, where Faridabad is located, 19% of girls were married as a child. The government has to work hard if it is to meet its target to end child marriage by 2030.
In Haryana, the state in which Faridabad is located, around 11% of people live below the poverty line. Although Faridabad is rapidly growing, the infrastructure has not kept up with this development. Often people move to Faridabad in search of a better life and job opportunities, but many people end up in one of the slums in the city.
In these slums, there is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and safe drinking water. An estimated 12% of the city lives in slums, making it the city within Haryana with the most slums. Children are most vulnerable to the poverty in these slums, lacking access to healthcare and education.