Indian Recipies

India Map

India maps will undoubtedly show the urban mountain areas of India. It may not be obvious from looking at an India map, but during monsoon season, urban centers in the mountains of eastern India are vulnerable to landslides. In many cities, slums are built on precarious hillsides where the threat of landslide is especially high.

India East India's Urban Mountains

The Location


The Population


The Religion


The Weather

  • Precariously perched on a hillside, these homes, where many Compassion-assisted children live, are one landslide away from disaster. East India homes on hillside
  • Praying together in groups is a regular activity of the children at this Compassion center. East India children raising hands
  • Most Compassion center directors, such as the one pictured here, report dramatic improvement of the children they serve after only a short time of their participation in the program. East India children in uniform
  • These boys enjoy writing letters to their sponsors, expressing their appreciation and sharing about their lives. East India boy writing sponsor letter
  • Through the Compassion program, children are encouraged to develop their talents and creativity. East India boy playing guitar
  • Compassion-assisted children receive regular medical check-ups to ensure that their physical development is on track. East India children getting medical checkup

Overview: Eastern India's Urban Mountains

The urban centers in eastern India’s mountains attract people from impoverished rural areas. Hoping to find jobs and a better way of life, they move to the urban centers and settle in the surrounding slums. Sadly, all they find is more poverty and hopelessness.

A wide variety of ethnic groups live in these urban slums, including the Oriyas, Nepalis and Mizos. Also, many people here are from an indigenous tribal background. Each group has its own language, customs and style of dress.

Hinduism is the primary religion practiced in urban mountain areas, and people strive to please its many gods and goddesses through religious rituals. The tribal groups are typically animists, worshiping nature, spirits and ancestors.

During monsoon season, urban centers in the mountains of eastern India are vulnerable to landslides. In many cities, slums are built on precarious hillsides where the threat of landslide is especially high.

The weather in this region is temperate year round, but water is scarce for both household and irrigation use. Some people have to rely on trucks that bring water to sell to their communities. Deforestation is another problem in this region because people cut down the trees for heating, cooking and for sale.


Culture Corner

east india urban mountains culture


Try this simple drink, enjoyed by children in eastern India’s mountain urban centers.


Grind a cup of millet into powder. Mix the powder with a cup of water and let it sit for 12 hours. Boil a medium pot of water and add the millet mixture to the hot water. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour cooled mixture into glasses and serve.


Here are a few phrases you can use when writing to your sponsored child in eastern India.

Tumore ghorayr loke kemta aachote?
How is everyone in your family?
(Oriya language)

Ishwaro tumoku ashirbado korontu.
May God bless you.
(Oriya language)

Timro parai likhai kasto chaldeyichau?
How are your studies going?
(Nepali language)


Life in Eastern India's Urban Mountains

In eastern India’s mountain region – covering areas in the states of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa), Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong in North Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Tripura – Compassion ministers to children in several urban centers. Poor families often migrate to these centers from rural villages in search of jobs and a better standard of living. However, typically uneducated and unskilled, they are forced to work at whatever menial day-labor jobs they can find, rarely making more than $2 a day.

Poor urban families, including the majority of those with children in the Compassion program, typically crowd into small, rented homes with only one or two rooms. Most families do not have access to running water and an attached bathroom. A common toilet in the community or near the house is shared by many residents. Most children have access to electricity through a small fee their families pay every month.

Without adequate drainage systems in these urban mountain communities, the annual monsoon season, with its heavy rains and landslides, can destroy homes and take lives.

Children at Home

Homes in the slums of cities in eastern India’s mountains are simple constructions made from a variety of materials, including bamboo, mud, thatch, tin or plastic sheets. These small homes, usually measuring only 150 square feet, house families of up to six members. Each one generally has one or two rooms and a small front porch. Slum housing doesn’t usually have electricity or other public services such as garbage collection.


Community Issues and Concerns east india urban mountains community

The rapid influx of people from rural areas has led to insufficient employment in these urban centers. Those who work are usually laborers at construction sites or vendors in local markets. The government has set minimum wage levels for workers, but few employers abide by the law, and generally pay the equivalent of less than $2 for a full day of backbreaking labor.

Common social problems in the urban slums are gambling, alcoholism and substance abuse. Early child marriage, gender discrimination and polygamy are also issues. The practice of having more than one sexual partner has led to rising levels of HIV infection in urban slums.

In addition, the unsanitary living conditions in the slums are hazardous to children’s health. Kids frequently suffer unnecessarily from such preventable illnesses as bacterial diarrhea, which can prove fatal to the youngest children.

Local Needs and Challenges

Children in eastern India’s urban mountain centers face many daunting challenges. Their health is threatened on a daily basis by the lack of access to clean water and by their unsanitary environment. Some children stand for hours in long lines to collect water from community taps – hours that could be better spent in educational or other developmental pursuits. Compassion’s program helps many urban parents understand the importance of children attending school rather than doing chores.


Schools and Education east india urban mountains education

The school year in some urban areas goes from June to April, and in other areas from February to December. However, few children in urban slums advance beyond a primary school education.

The teacher-to-student ratio is about 1 to 60 in the primary grades. There are even more students per teacher in secondary classes. Many public schools lack sufficient building space for each grade to have its own classroom. It is common to find four grades crowded into the same room.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

At Compassion-assisted child development centers in eastern India’s urban mountain region, children receive the one-on-one attention from the staff that they lack in their schools. Extra tutoring helps them achieve standard academic milestones, and balanced meals help them avoid malnutrition. The children also learn good hygiene habits to keep themselves healthy. Most important, they have the opportunity to learn about God’s love and His gift of salvation.


Working Through the Local Church

Compassion believes that God’s purposes on Earth are accomplished through the church – including His purpose of bringing justice and mercy to the world’s poor and oppressed. That’s why in eastern India, as in every country where Compassion’s ministry is found, our program is carried out through local churches.

Our partner churches in eastern India are on the front lines, reaching into their communities to serve impoverished children and families. After all, who better than the local church understands the real needs of the people in its community?

It is our privilege and blessing to work alongside these committed partner churches in eastern India, encouraging, empowering and equipping them to meet children’s needs, all because of God's love.

How Compassion Works in India east india urban mountains compassion in india

Compassion’s work in India began in 1968 and in eastern India in 2002. Currently, more than 56,500 children participate in 233 child development centers in eastern India.

Compassion partners with local churches, helping them provide Indian children with a long-term program of physical, educational, social and spiritual development. Through this partnership between Compassion and local churches, children in need have the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and fulfill their God-given potential.

The Role of a Partnership Facilitator

As the link between Compassion and the partner churches operating our program, Partnership Facilitators play an important role. In eastern India, one of these dedicated staff members is Rupesh. Previously, Rupesh worked at a local church’s Compassion center. So he knows well the challenges partner churches face in providing the best program possible for the children they serve.

Rupesh has a big heart for eastern India’s children in need. He meets regularly with the staff members of the centers under his care, addressing any issues they have and guiding them in improving their ministry. And when he is back in the Compassion office, he spends time with other Partnership Facilitators, sharing ideas and encouraging each other in their important work.


Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the health of children living in unsanitary conditions in the urban slums.
  • Pray for an improvement in government schools, so that children will receive a higher-quality education.
  • Pray for the protection of children and their families from landslides.
  • Pray for the parents and caregivers of Compassion-assisted children, who face unemployment or underemployment.
  • Pray for Compassion child development center staff members, who diligently strive to meet the needs of the children in their care.