Caritas India, founded in 1962, is the official development arm, registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI 1860 (the Punjab Amendment Act 1957), of the Catholic Church in India. The word Caritas originates from Latin, which means, Love in Action. The name connotes the efforts to bring compassion and love to humanity. Caritas India is a member of the Caritas Confederation of more than 160 member organisations working in nearly 200 countries, making it the second largest humanitarian network in the world.
Steered by the Gospel principles of love and compassion, and rooted in the commitment to inalienable human rights and social justice, Caritas India has worked in a mission mode, to alleviate human suffering. It believes that there is a close relationship between poverty and the denial of human rights and fundamental freedom, where lack of human rights and fundamental freedom can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty. Since its inception, Caritas India has been unique in its strategic responsiveness to emerging social challenges at international and national level, by engaging with social researchers, proponents and the policy makers.
Propelled by the commitment to preserve the dignity and sacredness of human personality, Caritas India serves the underprivileged sections of society, hailing from socially excluded communities, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and religious minorities by exercising preferential actions for the most marginalised. As a result, with a large spectrum of development interventions across the country, Caritas India is recognised as a leading NGO in poverty alleviation through community managed disaster risk reduction and natural resource management.
The operations of Caritas India were initiated through disaster response during the Bangladesh refugee crisis in 1971, but over five decades of experiences in the field has led to diversification and up-scaling of interventions. Current interventions are in the areas of Emergency & Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Adaptive Agriculture & Sustainable Livelihood, Tribal Development, Dalit Inclusion & Development, Child Protection & Development, Anti-Human Trafficking and Community Health Care with a focus on HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.
In the past five decades, Caritas India has contributed significantly to nation building by supporting 22 945 projects to the tune of 13 730 million rupees. With a shift from a charity and welfare mode to a rights based approach, the strategic role of Caritas India has gone beyond funding the projects, by supporting hundreds of development organisations to increase their capacities to achieve greater levels of effectiveness whilst upholding organisational autonomy.
Basanta Norah an eight year old orphan, recalling the ‘unforgettable’ night of 2 July 2017, said, “When the floods hit my village Rangapathara, located on the embankment of river Ranga-Nadi, all I was thinking who will save me from dying.” The death toll from monsoon floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal has climbed to over ...
Caritas is launching an emergency appeal to help people who’ve been hit by floods in Assam and Bihar in India. Millions of people have been displaced and over 150 have lost their lives as a result of the floods.
One positive result of the tsunami is that our Caritas national organisations and their ties with communities are strengthened. They’ve been able to use that strength as a gateway for other integral human development efforts.
Tsunami affected communities in Sri Lanka. Caritas organisations from India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand joined confederation members from around the world, Church and other religious leaders in Sri Lanka 3-5 December to remember victims of the 2004 Asia tsunami.