Because of you…

Young people are being reached through high school clubs, home clubs, leadership training schools, sports events, career guidance seminars, music teams, talent contests, village outreaches and youth magazines.

The largest Community Development project to date has been the Ragpickers Project. Ragpickers and street young people are not unusual in Chennai city. Through a survey, Youth for Christ found approximately 25,000 of these socially abused young people inhabiting alleys, pavements and digging into the garbage dumps. These kids have been driven to this unwholesome way of life, either due to broken homes or due to the viciousness of a foster-parent. They leave their homes in a bid to become self-sufficient.

The Ragpicker Project’s aim is to rehabilitate at least 20 ragpickers a year, build their self-image and help them to be self-reliant. It also provides nutritious food and give lessons in hygienic living so that they can have a healthy strong body. This teaches them to be self-reliant and to lead a life of dignity.

Basic education is provided in areas such as math, English, Tamil, and general knowledge. Training in basic vocational skills like electrical work, tailoring, carpentry and cooking are also a part of the program.

Short-term mission teams have helped Youth for Christ build the main youth living centre where 21 boys currently live. The Centre has been functioning since 1996 and 126 boys have already been rehabilitated. Some have reconciled with their families and have returned home to help their parents financially.

Prayer Needs

  • Need for additional staff to meet ministry needs.
  • Need for expansion of ministry in North India
  • Need for building up 2nd and 3rd line leadership
  • Need for finances to meet monthly needs for staff salaries.

About India

India

Introduction

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century. By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually brought about independence in 1947. Communal violence led to the subcontinent's bloody partition, which resulted in the creation of two separate states, India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 caused Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists allegedly originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid economic development is fueling India's rise on the world stage.

Geography

Location

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic Coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 E

Area

Total Area: 3,287,263 sq km Rank: 7
Land Area: 2,973,193 sq km
Water Area: 314,070 sq km
Comparison: slightly more than one-third the size of the US
Land Boundaries: 14,103 km
Bordering Countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km
Coastline: 7,000 km

Climate

varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

Terrain

upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Elevations

Lowest Point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest Point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m

Natural Resources

coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land

Land Use

Arable land: 48.83%
Permanent Crops: 2.8%
Other: 48.37% (2005)
Irrigated Land: 558,080 sq km (2003)
Renewable Water Resources: 1,907.8 cu km (1999)
Total Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): 645.84 cu km/yr (8%/5%/86%)
Freshwater Withdrawal Per Capita: 585 cu m/yr (2000)

Environment

Natural Hazards: droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
Environmental Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources
Environmental Agreements: Party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

Geography Notes

dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes; Kanchenjunga, third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal

People

Population: 1,156,897,766 (July 2010 est.) Rank: 2

Age Structure

0-14 years: 30.5% (male 187,197,389/female 165,285,592)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 384,131,994/female 359,795,835)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 28,816,115/female 31,670,841) (2010 est.)
Median Age: 25.4 years

Population Growth

Growth Rate: 1.407% (2010 est.) Rank: 93
Birth Rate: 21.72 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) Rank: 90
Death Rate: 7.6 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) Rank: 115
Net Migration Rate: -0.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) Rank: 85

Urbanization

Urban Population: 29% of total population (2008)
Rate of Urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Life and Death

Infant Mortality Rate: 50.78 deaths/1,000 live births Rank: 51
Life Expectancy at Birth: 66.09 years Rank: 161
Fertility Rate: 2.65 children born/woman (2010 est.) Rank: 86

Health and Disease

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate: 0.3% (2007 est.) Rank: 89
People living with HIV/AIDS: 2.4 million (2007 est.) Rank: 4
HIV/AIDS Deaths: 310,000 (2001 est.) Rank: 2
Degree of Risk for Major Infectious Diseases: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne Diseases: chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
Animal Contact Diseases: rabies
Water Contact Diseases: leptospirosis
Note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Nationality and Culture

Noun: Indian(s)
Adjective: Indian
Ethnic Groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
Religion: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)
Languages: Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%
Note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2001 census)

Education

Literacy (Meaning, age 15 and over can read and write): 61% Male: 73.4% Female: 47.8% (2001 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): 10 years Male: 11 years Female: 9 years (2005)
Education expenditures: 3.2% of GDP (2005) Rank: 140

Government

Country Name

Conventional Long Form: Republic of India
Conventional Short Form: India
Local Long Form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya
Local Short Form: India/Bharat
Government Type: federal republic
Capital: New Delhi Geographic Coordinates: 28 36 N, 77 12 E

Administrative divisions

28 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
Independence: 15 August 1947 (from the UK)
National holiday: Republic Day, 26 January (1950)
Constitution: 26 January 1950; amended many times
Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus, and Muslims
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch

Chief of State: President Pratibha PATIL (since 25 July 2007); Vice President Hamid ANSARI (since 11 August 2007)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since 22 May 2004)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
Elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and the legislatures of the states for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held in July 2007 (next to be held in July 2012); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term; election last held in August 2007 (next to be held August 2012); prime minister chosen by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held April - May 2009 (next to be held no later than May 2014)
Election Results: Pratibha PATIL elected president; percent of vote - Pratibha PATIL 65.8%, Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT - 34.2%

Legislative Branch

bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of not more than 250 members up to 12 of whom are appointed by the president, the remainder are chosen by the elected members of the state and territorial assemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 members elected by popular vote, 2 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
Elections: People's Assembly - last held in five phases on 16, 22-23, 30 April and 7, 13 May 2009 (next must be held by May 2014)
Election Results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - INC 206, BJP 116, SP 23, BSP 21, JD (U) 20, AITC 19, DMK 18, CPI-M 16, BJD 14, SS 11, AIADMK 9, NCP 9, other 61, vacant 2

Judicial branch

Supreme Court (one chief justice and 25 associate justices are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65 or are removed for "proved misbehavior")

Politics

Political Parties and Leaders: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [J. JAYALALITHAA]; All India Trinamool Congress or AITC [Mamata BANERJEE]; Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]; Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Nitin GADKARI]; Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]; Communist Party of India or CPI [B. BARDHAN]; Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI-M [Prakash KARAT]; Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or DMK [Kalaignar M.KARUNANIDHI]; Indian National Congress or INC [Sonia GANDHI]; Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) [Sharad YADAV]; Left Front (an alliance of Indian leftist parties); Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]; Rashtriya Lok Dal or RLD [Ajit SINGH]; Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV]; Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [Parkash Singh BADAL]; Shiv Sena or SS [Bal THACKERAY]; Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]; note - India has dozens of national and regional political parties; only parties or coalitions with four or more seats in the People's Assembly are listed
Political pressure groups and leaders: All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley (separatist group); Bajrang Dal (religious organization); National Socialist Council of Nagaland in the northeast (separatist group); Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [Mohan BHAGWAT] (religious organization); Vishwa Hindu Parishad [Ashok SINGHAL] (religious organization)
Other: numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy
International Organization Participation: ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, C, CD, CERN (observer), CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag Description: three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green, with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; saffron represents courage, sacrifice, and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation
Note: similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band

Economy

Economy Overview: India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization, including reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and has served to accelerate the country's growth, which has averaged more than 7% per year since 1997. India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly more than half of the work force is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for more than half of India's output, with only one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services and software workers. An industrial slowdown early in 2008, followed by the global financial crisis, led annual GDP growth to slow to 6.5% in 2009, still the second highest growth in the world among major economies. India escaped the brunt of the global financial crisis because of cautious banking policies and a relatively low dependence on exports for growth. Domestic demand, driven by purchases of consumer durables and automobiles, has re-emerged as a key driver of growth, as exports have fallen since the global crisis started. India's fiscal deficit increased substantially in 2008 due to fuel and fertilizer subsidies, a debt waiver program for farmers, a job guarantee program for rural workers, and stimulus expenditures. The government abandoned its deficit target and allowed the deficit to reach 6.8% of GDP in FY10. Nevertheless, as shares of GDP, both government spending and taxation are among the lowest in the world. The government has expressed a commitment to fiscal stimulus in FY10, and to deficit reduction the following two years. It has increased the pace of privatization of government-owned companies, partly to offset the deficit. India's long term challenges include widespread poverty, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, limited employment opportunities, and insufficient access to basic and higher education. Over the long-term, a growing population and changing demographics will only exacerbate social, economic, and environmental problems.

Gross Domestic Product

GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.57 trillion (2009 est.) Rank: 5
GDP - real growth rate: 7.4% (2009 est.) Rank: 10
GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,100 (2009 est.) Rank: 163
GDP - Composition by Sector: Agriculture: 17% Industry: 28.2% Services: 54.9% (2009)

Labor Force

Labor Force: 467 million (2009 est.) Rank: 2
Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: 52% Industry: 14% Services: 34% (2009 est.)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (2009 est.) Rank: 120

Poverty

Population below poverty line: 25% (2007 est.)

Transnational Issues

International Disputes: since China and India launched a security and foreign policy dialogue in 2005, consolidated discussions related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, Indian claims that China transferred missiles to Pakistan, and other matters continue; various talks and confidence-building measures have cautiously begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India and Pakistan have maintained the 2004 cease fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed stand-off in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show its Junagadh claim in Indian Gujarat State; discussions with Bangladesh remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, to exchange territory for 51 Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, to allocate divided villages, and to stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's attempts to fence off high-traffic sections of the border; India seeks cooperation from Bhutan and Burma to keep Indian Nagaland and Assam separatists from hiding in remote areas along the borders; Joint Border Committee with Nepal continues to examine contested boundary sections, including the 400 square kilometer dispute over the source of the Kalapani River; India maintains a strict border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities from Nepal
Refugees and internally displaced persons - refugees (country of origin): 77,200 (Tibet/China); 69,609 (Sri Lanka); 9,472 (Afghanistan)
International Displaced Persons: at least 600,000 (about half are Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir) (2007)

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