India is among the world's worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic.

Its already fragile communities, where millions rely on daily wages, were left with no jobs, no income and often no homes the minute the outbreak began. Almost 22% of the population live below the poverty line and it was mainly these families who lost all income when the virus arrived.

Many are now being forced to survive in growing slum communities – many of which are established alongside the railway stations. As we have an established presence there, our teams have now adapted their approach and are working within the slums to find the children and families that need our support.

As the world starts to recover from the pandemic, these families are facing a desperate struggle to rebuild their lives. Hunger is now more of a threat to them than the virus as they still have no income and more children than ever are expected to leave school, be trafficked, forced into marriage or take on jobs as child labour, just so they can eat. We’re doing everything we can to strengthen and support those families so that their children stay safe with them at home.

When the virus first hit India, our teams identified over 10,000 families of children we had taken back home over the last year, and found them in desperate situations.

Coronavirus is destroying live and livelihoods.

We found 13-year-old Sanjeev collecting rubbish at the station in Delhi. His family is among thousands forced to survive in dangerous, dirty slum communities, their desperation making them easy targets for trafficking and exploitation.

Click below to watch a video about Sanjeev's story and find out more about our Christmas campaign to stop Coronavirus claiming children's lives.

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We have managed to contact 7,330 families to offer assistance and 1,079 were facing starvation. Either directly or through government schemes, we have been able to deliver emergency parcels of food and soap to 979 of them, including 2,611 children.