New Delhi’s rapid growth and industrialization have led to the city boasting India’s second highest per capita income. 64% of the population still lives in poverty. Half of New Delhi’s 1.9 million children live in slums and squatter communities, lacking access to nutrition, education, and basic healthcare.
Sugandh means “fragrance” in Hindi, and the Sugandh Society brings the fragrance of hope to people living in New Delhi’s slums. The Sugandh Society offers informal education for children living in the slums, vocational training for youth and women, scholarships, and aid for the homeless, orphans, and disabled, as well as medical care for those in need. As they share Christ, Sugandh spreads the fragrance of life to those living in poverty.
- Half of New Delhi’s 1.9 million children live in the city’s slums and squatter settlements.
- Only one out of every four poor children in New Delhi is fully immunized. Fifteen percent are severely malnourished, and two-thirds suffer from nutritional anemia.
- Approximately 4 million people in New Delhi lack access to water and survive on rationed tank water.
- While New Delhi boasts an 86% literacy rate, 70% of the city’s illiterate live in the slums.
- The Sugandh Society began by offering laboring children from the slums a midday meal and basic education. They also teach basic vocational skills such as sewing, painting, and automotive mechanics.
- Today, Sugandh offers:
- Informal education for children
- Vocational training for youth and women
- Instructional literature, teaching aids, and equipment
- Scholarships and stipends for students and vocational trainees to help them become self-supporting
- Care for destitute children, the homeless, the elderly, and the disabled
- Basic medical care
- The Sugandh Society primarily cares for children from migrant families whose parents are involved in low-income employment such as rag-picking and rickshaw pulling. Children who receive aid from Sugandh are provided with free textbooks, mid-day meals, writing materials, uniforms, shoes, school bags, and other supplies. Sugandh has also implemented a women’s self-help group which has saved many lives in the community and has helped women in legal matters with their children and families.
In 1997, Mrs. Emma Lodge Patch and seven of her friends received a call to serve the poor of India. They began the Sugandh Society as a ministry to people living in the slums of New Delhi. Today the ministry is led by Thangtei David, who along with a small staff carries on Sugandh’s mission of spreading Christ’s fragrance and hope among India’s poor. Oakseed helps the Sugandh Society with prayer and financial support.
- Pray that the women who are part of Sugandh’s vocational training programs will learn the skills needed to be self-supporting.
- Pray that children and parents will value and desire education.
- Pray for Sugandh’s staff and volunteers as they share the fragrance of Christ’s hope and life in the slums of New Delhi.