Khajuri Kalan

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

About a thousand people live in Khajuri Kalan, a village about 40 km from Bhopal, the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh in western India. About two million people live in this fast-growing city. But in 1984, a toxic gas leak killed tens of thousands of people and left adults and children with respiratory problems, blindness, and other health problems. It has been called the world's worst industrial disaster, and its effects are still felt decades later.In addition, children are also vulnerable to the prevailing gender inequality in the state.

Since 2004, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people with disabilities and their families and advocating for their rights in Khajuri Kalan.

Children in India live with a disability

No equal access to education

In India, eight million children, or 2% of all children, live with a disability. These children are often socially stigmatised and do not receive the same educational and professional opportunities as other children. More specifically, this means that a quarter of children with disabilities do not get the opportunity to attend an educational institution, even though in India schooling is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. Often there is also no financial support for the families, and the schools are mostly not adapted to the needs of the children. Children with disabilities are more likely to be exploited, trafficked or abused.

Of girls are forced into marriage

Children suffer from inequality

Gender inequality is a major problem in Madhya Pradesh, the state where Khajuri Kalan is located. To illustrate, in this state 39% of girls are forcibly married before the age of 18. This figure has already come down from 67% in the past. Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced marriage is profound. Moreover, the literacy rates in Madhya Pradesh speak for themselves: while the male literacy rate is 81%, the female literacy rate is 65%. Equal opportunities for children must become a priority.

Your support makes a different for children in Khajuri Kalan

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Health care services
Were provided
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Siblings grow up together in families, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Khajuri Kalan

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Providing medical care
In areas with limited health services, SOS Children’s Villages provides medical advice and assistance. We offer preventative measures such as medical check-ups and vaccination programmes. Most of the patients who approach us for medical help come from local families, who could otherwise not afford to receive treatment.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Our work in Khajuri Kalan is particularly designed to provide loving homes for children and young people with disabilities. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.