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

Rourkela is a city located in the North East of India, in the Odisha state. Around 500,000 people live in this city, which was founded in 1954 to develop a steel plant. The steel plant, which was built in collaboration with Germany, still functions today and drives the economic growth of the city. However, 32% of people in Odisha state live below the poverty line. Children in Rourkela are vulnerable to poverty, and also to malnutrition and gender inequality.

Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Rourkela.

Girls forced into marriage as a child

Gender inequality

Gender inequality is a concerning issue in Odisha. To illustrate, in the state, 22% of girls were forced into marriage before the age of 18. This number has decreased from 40% 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 union is profound. Furthermore, literacy rates in Odisha speak for themselves: the literacy rate for men is 84%, while the literacy rate for women is 69%. Offering equal opportunities to children needs to become a priority.

Children are undernourished


Although Rourkela has experienced a steady economic growth over the past years due to the steel plant in the city, poverty is still recurrent, and many people are food insecure. 32% of people in Odisha state live below the poverty line, and parents struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 29% of children are underweight. To be more specific, 31% of children in Odisha experience stunting (low height for age), a result of undernutrition. Furthermore, 18% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.

Your support makes a difference for children in Rourkela

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.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children are excited to learn how to use laptops for school assignments. SOS Children’s Villages cooperates with education authorities, schools and community organizations. Together they ensure free and equitable access to quality education that equips children with values and skills (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Rourkela

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
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. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. 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.