Guwahati is the biggest city of the Assam state, located in the far Northeastern part of India. Around 1 million people live in the city, which is often called “Gateway to North East India.”
The city’s economy is mainly based on petroleum and tea manufacturing. While Guwahati is flourishing economically, 15% of inhabitants live below the poverty line.
Families, and especially the children, living in poverty often end up in slums on the border of the city, while also being more vulnerable to the recurrent floods in the area.
Since 1988, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Guwahati.
Guwahati is a rapidly growing city in India, partly due to refugees from Bangladesh, but the infrastructure has been unable to keep up with this development.
Often people who move to Guwahati in search of a better life and job opportunities, end up in one of the 160 slums in the city. In these slums, there is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and safe drinking water.
An estimated 130,000 people in the city live in slums. Children are most vulnerable to the poverty in these slums, lacking access to healthcare and education.
Assam state, where Guwahati is located, is prone to natural disasters. Around 40% of Assam’s total land area as flood prone.
In the last ten years, the region has been affected by heavy floods, which have been deadly to humans and animals alike. It also causes crops to be destroyed and people to be displaced, leaving them without a home, proper food or drinkable water.
Due to climate change, the floods are only expected to worsen, and it already affects millions in the state. Children are even more vulnerable to the consequences of these floods.