Jammu is one of the two capitals of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, located in the upper north of India. Around 500,000 people live in the city, which is known for its basmati rice cultivation and attracts many tourists and pilgrims. However, the city is still the centre of political conflict after 30 years of unrest. 7.5% of the people in Jammu district live below the poverty line, and children in particular are affected by the prevailing poverty and conflict. In addition, many families live in slums, which further worsens the children's living conditions.
Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Jammu.
Jammu is located in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a region struggling with political unrest and disputes between Pakistan, India and China. The conflict has been going on for more than 30 years and has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims, civilians and soldiers alike. Not only have mass killings been reported, but also disappearances, torture and rape.
Children living there in one of the most militarized zones in the world are particularly exposed to the violence. More than 300 children have been killed since 2003, and many others are victims of sexual violence. Children are also recruited as child soldiers. Sadly, the situation does not seem to be improving any time soon.
In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where Jammu is located, 660,000 people live in slums.
People often move to Jammu in search of a better life and job opportunities, but as the infrastructure cannot sustain the increase in people, many end up living in one of the city's slums.
These slums lack affordable housing, proper sanitation and clean drinking water. In Jammu specifically, an estimated 6,500 people in the city live in slums. Children are the most affected by the poverty prevailing in these slums and have no access to medical care and education.