According to UNICEF, India is home to the largest child population in the world, with 400m children that include an estimated 31m orphans, and nearly 176m of these are considered to be in need of care and protection. Children at risk in India, whether orphaned and otherwise, often end up in shelters, which are under resourced and often focused more on basic needs than either childcare or longer-term progression. The result is that both quality of life and adult outcomes for children in this demographic are very poor, leading to cycles of poverty and abandonment. With inadequate educational qualifications, life skills, financial or emotional support to cope outside these institutions; children who have grown up in shelters often take up menial jobs, or get trapped into alcoholism, violence, drug abuse, prostitution or trafficking.
Solutions often struggle with the scale of the problem, and are commonly single dimensional or isolated. This is compounded by the fact that little useful data exists because it has historically been difficult to track what happens to children after they leave shelters. Make A Difference exists to address these challenges on both a local and a systemic scale.