You are here: Support our Indian charity > Why rural India?

Why we need your support for our charity work in rural India

man working in a field in rural India

the rise in Indian prosperity leaves the rural poor untouched

cataract patient

it is the poorest and most vulnerable peole from the nearby villages who benefit from the project's eye camps for cataract care

poor children in village classroom

the project's high school provides education for rural children for miles around

the frothy scum on a badly-polluted river

the project is helping local people seeking compensation for land destroyed by pollution from nearby factories

re-painting the college building

VRI helps with the costs of maintenance of the school buildings

As VRI is run by volunteers, we are currently able to guarantee that your whole donation will be sent to India without deductions. No deductions will be made for VRI running costs.

Find out about how you can support our work

Poverty in rural India

India is now the world's tenth most productive industrialized country and the second-largest exporter of computer software. But despite this, nearly a third of the world’s poorest people are Indian and there are still around 350 million people below the poverty line.

While urban India may be getting richer, over 70% of India’s population live in villages and the gap between urban and rural life is getting wider. Many people in the villages remain illiterate and impoverished. The highly urbanised education system alienates educated people from villages who have no voice and are unable to raise issues that concern them.

How does VRI help?

VRI is a small charity that supports sustainable development projects in rural India, projects which will have a lasting impact for generations to come. We provide financial support to cover start-up costs, such as building work, and to help existing enterprises to expand. Once a project is up and running, it can often support itself.

We raise money in the UK to support our partner project at Amarpurkashi, a village in northern India. We have had close links with this project for over 30 years, giving us confidence that your money will be spent well.

Here are some examples of projects or enterprises we have supported in the last few years:

Health

  • The project holds free eye camps which treat hundreds of poor villagers suffering from cataracts and other eye complaints. A very moving article about one particular eye camp can be found here
  • In 2001 we built a health centre in the village. It is now managed by an experienced and qualified doctor from Moradabad and we run regular health camps and eye examinations every year.

Education

  • VRI supported a local village to start its own secondary school at Jafar Pur. This venture was initiated by the villagers themselves, who were concerned that there was no local school for their children. With our support this is now a recognised high school with good classrooms and toilets.
  • Electricity and fans were installed in the APK primary school to provide comfort during the very hot summer months.
  • We contributed to the costs of building a hostel for the degree college and washrooms, toilets and a new hand pump.
  • We support the costs of running the annual science fair, a lively and popular participative event which presents science, health and technology issues to visitors from villages and other schools.

Empowerment and self-help

  • We funded training and workshops for NGOs in Bihar relating to two important new laws which have the potential to improve the lot of poor people: the Right to Information Act and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
  • We made a donation to another organisation, which runs self-help groups in Orissa. This was as a result of a visit from the project director of our partner project, who was inspired by the organisation's work with orphans, the disabled, and deprived elderly people.
(For more detailed description of past donations, see the rural development fund report and the child scholarship fund report.)

As VRI is run by volunteers, we are currently able to guarantee that your whole donation will be sent to India without deductions. No deductions will be made for VRI running costs.

Find out about how you can support our work