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Tamil Nadu and India

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India has a population of over 1.2 billion people twenty times more than the UK and more than a sixth of the world’s population. Most still live in villages and work on the land. Despite some perceptions that the country is becoming more prosperous, there are more poor people (421 million) in 8 of the 14 Indian states than in the 28 poorest countries of Africa combined.

Hundreds of millions continue to live in deprivation and even squalor; family incomes in rural Tamil Nadu can be as low as 1 per day. Several generations often live in one small house with the most meagre possessions. The sick and disabled suffer the most of all.

The government is making progress but improvements are slow in this vast country. The ‘emerging economy’ of India has been described as “islands of wealth in an ocean of poverty”.

In particular, there are still real, desperate needs in the communities of Tiruvannamalai. Sylvia, with the help of her staff and an increasing number of local people, are meeting these needs honestly, without corruption and in a loving and caring spirit.

Sylvia says: "Our work is very demanding with many difficulties, but many rewards. The more work we do, the more needs are uncovered, but definite improvement is seen in the health and wellbeing of the people we serve.”

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