22 May 2009

India's Ruling Party Wins Elections

05/21/09 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh won a second five-year term in office as the result of India's month-long parliamentary elections. His Indian National Congress Party, which rules the country through a government coalition, obtained a surprising landslide victory on May 16.

The win for the National Congress Party ensures a stable government in the world's largest democracy. A strong, secure ruling coalition is something Indians and observers alike find reassuring in light of the region's economic downturn, instability, and abiding poverty. Election analysts had predicted stronger showings from India's main opposition party and from its small, regional parties. That turn of events likely would have led to a weak, fractured government.

Relief over the election outcome was reflected in India's stock market. The Bombay Stock Exchange jumped 17 percent when it opened on Monday.

SOS Children's Villages and the Plight of India's Poor

Children on Balcony Pondicherry, India
Children on a balcony at the SOS Children's Village Pondicherry in India

One of the National Congress Party's top priorities will be to get the economy back on its growth path. This is a big challenge: a third of India's 1.1 billion people live in extreme poverty. Singh is an economic reformer known for his desire to liberalize the economy. The defeat of the country's formerly powerful communist parties will free him to carry out insurance, banking, and other economic reforms.

But government reforms, when they come, can only do so much for India's impoverished population, which includes many children. The involvement of charities is critical to helping these children, and that's where SOS Children's Villages is playing a key complementary role to government.

Providing Homes for Children in India

A boy at the SOS Social & Medical Center in Nagapattinam, India
A boy at the SOS Social & Medical Center in Nagapattinam, India

SOS Children's Villages is the world's largest charity devoted to providing loving homes to orphaned and abandoned children. SOS operates 37 villages in India. It provides structured family living, professionally trained local SOS mothers, and a supportive community environment for children whose life prospects would otherwise be very bleak.

SOS also runs schools and clinics for local populations in need and is on the ground to disperse emergency aid to families hit by disease or natural disasters.

If you would like to help a child in India secure a warm home, a full stomach, and a bright future, consider sponsoring an SOS child.