Puducherry is a city located by the sea in the union territory of the same name, in the South East of India. Around 250,000 people live in the city, which is mainly a tourist seaside resort, and the main economic activity is food processing and fishing.
The region is very prone to cyclones and other natural disasters, and was devastated by the tsunami of 2004. Furthermore, inhabitants still live in poverty, which affects children the most, leaving them undernourished.
SOS Children’s Villages began supporting children and families in Puducherry in 2008.
The union territory of Puducherry has one of the lowest poverty rates of all the union territories in India, with just 1.72% of its population living in poverty.
However, 50% of the population of Puducherry have a BPL (below poverty line) ration card.
People can apply for this card when their income is below the poverty line limit.
This shows that people in Puducherry do still need support, and children are especially vulnerable to poverty. To illustrate, one in every two school-going adolescents is malnourished in Puducherry.
The union territory of Puducherry is prone to natural disasters, with some of the most devastating ones in recent years being the tsunami of 2004, a cyclone in 2011, and the floods of 2015.
Not only did these destroy lives, families, and houses; it also had a massive impact on the fishing sector and its infrastructure, leaving many people without any income. On average, 3 tropical cyclones make landfall in India each year, and the cases of natural disasters are only increasing, due to climate change.
Children are most vulnerable to these disasters, often losing their homes and families.