In 2017, I came full circle, and received
the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award.
I have smelt poverty. I’ve tasted it. I’ve suffered it in every possible extreme. Not from a distance, and not for just a short time.
Though I have British ancestry, I grew up in India. My family stayed after the British left and India gained their independence in the 1940s. I was born as part of a minority class of poor whites who lived in the slums among the poorest of the poor. I lived there for my whole childhood, up into my young adult years and my first good job. Mother Teresa’s charity was in my town, and my family was served by her.
As a child, I watched my parents suffer intense hardship, hunger, disease, and fear, and I suffered the same things myself. I lost four siblings who didn’t make it to their first birthdays because of disease, malnutrition, and a nearly non-existent health care system.
You can read my story in my book Indian. English.
I know Indian poverty, because I lived in it. And just like the 400 million still living in extreme poverty in India, I had no way out for most of my childhood. We had no retirement plan. No government social services. No wealthy family members who could bail us out if we reached our limit. No inside track to high-paying jobs.
We had nothing.
This was my home as a child and most of my teenage years
But I did overcome it – with help from many kind people, just like you. My story shows how you can make a difference for many of India’s most precious people.
The one thing I had that too many people today do not have in India and many other places, is access to quality education. That’s why educating the kids is one of the main goals of Happy Hearts, one of Remedia’s six charities.
As a little girl, I lived here under these stairs with my mother and sister.
Many in India still live in conditions just like this, or worse
So why do I give to my own charity? I give because the people I’m helping are just like me. I give because I am making a difference.
Just like a few people in key moments helped me and my family keep on living – literally – and gave us the tiniest hope that life one day would be better, you can give that same tiny hope to people living across India an the UK.
Your First Step to Lifting Up the Poor in India
Your first step is to choose which group of people you want to help. Remedia has a network of six charities that minister to different neglected groups of people:
- The Aged
The Jobless and Under-Employed Young Adults
Learn more about each of these six charities here.
Simply choose which group of people you want to help the most, and give to that charity.
Thank you for caring about India’s poor.
Program Director, Remedia Charities
3 More Reasons Why India’s Poor Need Your Help More Than Ever
While Remedia helps lift up the poor in several nations, the majority of it happens in the UK and India. This began because of Jillian Haslam’s personal connection to India. She lived there, and it was her community for more than 20 years. But it has become much more.
Here are three more reasons you must take action today to fight extreme poverty in India.
1/3 of the World’s Poor Live in One Country
Don’t be misled by headlines about India’s economic growth over the last 20 years. Yes, it’s been happening, and life is better for many. But you’ve got to understand the scope of the problem.
India has well over a billion people. A few decades ago, almost all their people lived in extreme poverty. Today, estimates are difficult to measure, but about 400 million Indians still suffer in their daily lives in ways unimaginable to the western world.
Read stories of India’s poor on our charity pages.
400 million people. In 2017, the population of the entire European Union was 510 million, and the entire United States was 325 million. India’s extreme poor – people barely surviving on almost nothing – is about half the population of Europe and the U.S.
Why help India? Because people are suffering needlessly, and you can help them at very little cost to yourself.
See how you can help kids who suffer from treatable diseases.
Trapped in a Culture That Resists Change
The way things are is the way things are.
That’s how too many people in India see their lives. But just because it’s always been this way doesn’t mean it always has to be. People accept the status quo.
Here’s the status quo for India’s poor:
They are ignored on a daily basis. They’ve been discarded and abandoned by their families. They are blamed for their condition (especially the disabled) by higher castes. They are told it’s in their blood.
These kinds of attitudes persist because they give people a reason not to care.
When you choose to care, it’s like thrusting a dagger of light in a dark cave.
Overwhelmed Governments and NGOs
Many in India’s governments and businesses really do want to help. They have seen progress, and want it to spread. But they haven’t been able to overcome systemic problems like the attitudes you just read about.
There’s also still too much corruption and massive inefficiency in the delivery of basic services like health care and education. It just doesn’t reach the extreme poor. They are left out.
Remedia’s charities are reaching these some of these people, but there are many more we can’t reach without your help.
You can do all this. You can touch the lives of thousands from all generations, young to old, one person at a time.
It begins when you make a choice to care about people who have the same cares, wants, needs, and desires as you, but right now are prevented from receiving them.
Give to India’s Poor