Raipur is the capital city of the Chhattisgarh state. Located in East Central India, it has around 1.2 million people living in the city. Raipur is known for its business opportunities, in a state which is rich in resources and provides electricity, coal and steel to the rest of the nation. However, the standard of living between different cities is very imbalanced.
The area has also seen many conflicts. Children are most vulnerable to the consequences of this conflict, as well as to the ongoing gender inequality and malnutrition in the state.
Since 2007, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Raipur.
Gender inequality is a major issue in Chhattisgarh, where Raipur is located. To illustrate, in the state, 24% of girls were forced into marriage before the age of 18. This number has decreased from 65% in the past.
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.
Furthermore, literacy rates in Chhattisgarh speak for themselves: the literacy rate for men is 82%, while the literacy rate for women is 72%. Offering equal opportunities to children needs to become a priority.
Although Raipur has experienced rapid economic growth over the past years, food insecurity is still present.
Parents in Chhattisgarh state struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 31% of children are underweight. To be more specific, 34% of children in Chhattisgarh experience stunting (low height for age), a result from undernutrition.
Furthermore, 19% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.