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India is an entire world on its own. Its combination of spiritual depth, unparalleled physical beauty, and cultural diversity makes the country one of the most alluring destinations on the planet. India's development is another story. While the economy is growing rapidly, almost 800 million citizens (79.9 percent) still live on less than $2 each day.
Grassroots and government efforts are making great strides to rectify poverty-related issues; however, the severity of the problem is astonishing. Water tables throughout the country have collapsed, public education is floundering, and HIV infects more people than any other nation in the world. With 30 percent of the population classified as malnourished, common human rights violations, and the rural sectors becoming increasingly poor, India is in need of community-level support.
Home to 400,000, Udaipur is located in the northwest state of Rajasthan. Udaipur is an extremely popular destination for travelers due to its mythical architecture, green forests, and renowned lake views. Unfortunately, the city's wealth is held by a sliver of the population, and the vast majority of the local population suffers from a severe lack of supporting infrastructure.
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Also in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is home to 850,000. Known as the Blue City because many residences are painted a distinct indigo, it is a primary destination for those interested in Indian culture and history. The city sits at the edge of the Thar Desert and features some of the most famed Indian landmarks, such as Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace. Jodhpur is also know for its textiles, leather making, and handicrafts, which are largely produced by marginalized laborers from surrounding villages and/or Pakistani refugees. Similar to Udaipur, the wealth generated by local tourism does little to mitigate the extensive environmental, rights, and education issues in the desert region.
FSD invests in Indian grassroots partners who are working on the frontlines 365 days a year to end the cycle of poverty in their communities. We provide our partners with grants and key training to ensure their goals are practical, sustainable, and minimize external aid dependency.
We also work with students, professionals, and donors from the US and other western nations to share
knowledge on ethical approaches to international development, which respect and preserve the voice, knowledge, and culture of the communities we serve.