The city of Bhimtal is located in Uttarakhand, a state in northern India. Uttarakhand is mostly rural, with towns scattered throughout the mountains.
In comparison with other Indian states, Uttarakhand has a high levels of poverty. SOS Children started supporting children and families in Bhimtal in 1984.
Poor healthcare impacts mothers
Health care isn't always available in the local area, but many can't afford to travel to urban areas and pay for medical fees. The lack of antenatal and postnatal care is particularly concerning, as women often fail to reach hospitals in time due to the poor state of the roads in the more mountainous areas.
Most of the children who live in SOS families come from vulnerable families living in such areas. Many children have lost both parents, and in other cases the parents are unable to meet the children's emotional and physical needs.
Human trafficking of women and children is also a problem, especially due to the proximity of the border with Nepal.
Giving hope to children in Bhimtal
We work firstly by providing a loving home for orphaned or abandoned children, and secondly by giving families in the community the support they need. SOS Children's Village Bhimtal is in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, about 300km north of New Delhi.
Children who can no longer stay with their families can live with one of the SOS families, where they are cared for by an SOS mother. Children attend our SOS School which offers primary and secondary education.
The school was opened in 1986, as there were no schools anywhere near this SOS Children's Village. When the young adults are ready to leave their SOS families they can join our SOS youth programme. The young people are encouraged to develop plans for their future.
Working with the community
SOS Children works in close partnership with local agencies and community-based organisations to find families who are in need of support.SOS social centres support families in a variety of ways. As well as day care in the SOS nursery, we offer awareness-raising programmes for hygiene, child rights and parenting skills. We provide families with food,educational support, and medical advice and treatment. In order for families to earn an income we offer them vocational training, career counselling and advice. In Bhimtal there is also an SOS vocational training centre which prepares prospective teachers for secondary or senior secondary schools in the country.
We support families living in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains with tailored services. Will you make a difference to a child's life and become a sponsor today?