New Delhi

New Delhi

New Delhi is the capital of India. The executive, legislative and judiciary branches of the government are located in New Delhi. With strengths in the arts, entertainment, fashion and finance, New Delhi is on many lists as a city to visit and explore.

India Semi-urban Regions

The Location


The Population


The Religion


The Weather

  • Life in India’s mid-sized towns is less hectic than in the cities and more advanced than in the rural villages. India young boy looking at camera
  • Compassion’s age-appropriate curriculum helps ensure that children receive the lessons they need for a better life today and in the future. India children studying on floor
  • Children and women usually have the task of collecting water in plastic jugs from the community well, which is hard work. India man carrying water on bike
  • This woman earns a meager living by selling peanuts to people on the beach near her town. India woman on beach
  • At their Compassion-assisted child development center, children are taught how to build a relationship with God through prayer. India children praying together
  • Many families work in rock quarries, breaking large rocks into smaller ones by hand. India men working with stone

Overview: Semi-urban Regions

India’s towns are larger and better equipped than the country’s villages, but they are smaller and less congested than such urban centers as Delhi and Mumbai. Villagers often travel to nearby larger towns to shop at the market, seek medical assistance, or worship at the Hindu temple.

The larger towns also typically offer access to electricity, water and transportation. Schools and sometimes colleges are also located in Indian towns, and some of these towns are popular tourist destinations. Town life is generally considered a better option by Indians over the primitive villages and the hectic urban centers.

Although Christians and Muslims live in India’s towns, most people are Hindu. They worship many deities and follow Hinduism’s many rituals and traditions.

People in the towns also place great importance on the family structure, and marriages are typically arranged by family elders.

As in the cities, men in India’s towns wear Western-style clothing. They also can be seen in the traditional kurta — a long, loose shirt with pajama-like churidar trousers. In especially hot climates, some men wear cloths tied around their waists called lungis. The women usually wear colorful saris, the most well-known Indian apparel. For school, children throughout India wear uniforms.


Culture Corner


Try this Indian dish, popular during Pongal, the annual harvest festival.


1 c. rice
1 c. yellow lentils
6 c. water
3 green chilies
¼ inch ginger root
2 tsp. clarified butter
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Turmeric powder, a pinch
10-15 cashew nuts
Salt to taste


Mix rice and lentils together in a rice cooker. Add water, and steam until rice and lentils are overcooked, mushy in texture. Finely chop green chilies and ginger root. Heat clarified butter, peppercorns and cumin seeds in a frying pan. When the peppercorns burst, add chilies, ginger, turmeric powder and cashews. Remove from heat when the cashews are roasted and add to rice-lentil mixture. Add salt and mix well. Serve hot.


Life in Semi-urban India

People living in India’s mid-sized towns are known for their helpful, friendly nature. Guests are treated as part of the family, and elders are given great respect. The strong sense of community means that people share not only their joys with each other, but also their hardships and sorrows.

Typically, extended families live together, and when a girl marries, she moves into the home of her husband. Although marriages are still primarily arranged by family elders, the custom of marrying for love is growing in India’s towns, as are other Western customs, such as style of dress.

These towns have a variety of social classes and professions, from doctors and businesspeople to daily wage laborers. Also, education opportunities in the towns are usually better than in the smaller villages.

Children at Home

Homes in India’s towns include a variety of construction styles and sizes. The most impoverished families live in homes with mud walls and thatched roofs simply supported by poles at the four corners. Many roofs are sharply pitched for protection from the heavy rains during the monsoon seasons. More affluent families can afford homes with tile roofs, and concrete walls and floors.


Community Issues and Concerns india semi urban community

People in India’s towns come from varying backgrounds and cultures, and the complicated caste system is particularly pronounced. People born into low castes are scorned and discriminated against by those of higher castes.

Alcohol abuse is a common problem in the towns, yet few rehabilitation programs for addiction exist. And although towns offer more employment opportunities than villages, unemployment and underemployment are widespread. Many families are unable to provide for their children’s most basic needs.

Local Needs and Challenges

Impoverished children in India’s towns face many challenges. Although there are more and better job opportunities in towns than in rural villages, unemployment and underemployment are still high. As a result, many parents cannot adequately provide for their children’ needs. Another common problem is alcohol abuse among men, which frequently leads to family violence.


Schools and Education india semi urban education

The Indian government provides free public education for children up to age 14, consisting of five years of primary education, three years of middle school, two years of lower secondary school, and two years of higher secondary school. Children usually start their education at age 6.

The majority of primary school-age Indian children are enrolled in school, although many, especially girls, do not attend regularly. And in spite of the fact that education is free in most states through the lower secondary level, about a fifth of children do not attend school.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

Compassion serves children in India’s towns through local, church-based child development centers. These centers are havens of love and learning for registered children. Here, they receive nutritious meals, hygiene training, and tutoring to attain standard academic milestones. They are also encouraged to develop their talents and abilities. Most important, children learn about God’s love and His gift of salvation.


Working Through the Local Church

At Compassion, we believe God’s mandate to serve the world’s poor and oppressed rests on the shoulders of the church. That’s why being “church-based” is an important Compassion distinctive. In other words, Compassion comes alongside local churches, empowering them to carry out God’s mandate to bring real and lasting transformation into the lives of impoverished children. Local churches understand well the challenges of the poor in their communities, as well as the best ways to address those challenges.

For more than 40 years, this unique partnership between Compassion and local Indian churches has been releasing children from poverty and providing them the opportunities they need to grow into happy, healthy, responsible God-honoring adults.

How Compassion Works in India india semi urban compassion in india

Compassion’s work in India began in 1968. Currently, more than 75,000 children participate in 334 child development centers (not including eastern India).

Compassion partners with local churches, helping them provide India’s 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 become all that God has created them to be.

The Role of a Partnership Facilitator

Partnership Facilitators are the “face” of Compassion to the local churches that operate our program of holistic child development. In India, these dedicated women and men each work alongside 12 church partners, helping them meet the needs of the children they serve with excellence. Partnership Facilitators also represent the churches’ needs and challenges to the national Compassion office.

A Partnership Facilitator visits each church at least once every three months. Travel to churches in remote areas can be long and difficult. Often, facilitators are away from their families for days at a time. But for India’s Partnership Facilitators, committed to improving their country’s future one child at a time, the effort is more than worthwhile.


Prayer Requests

  • Pray that parents in India’s towns will find steady employment so that they can support their families.
  • Pray that children will stay in school and excel in their education.
  • Pray that evils like caste discrimination and alcoholism will be eliminated.
  • Pray for Compassion center staff members, who diligently strive to meet the needs of the children in their care.