Bhakatpara is in the north-eastern of Assam - an ethnically mixed state. We began working in Bhakatpara in 1983, after numerous families were separated and many children lost their parents during political unrest.
There is huge diversity across India, and the north-east of the country has not been as economically successful as other parts. Some reports suggest that poverty has increased in the state of Assam in recent years, and that the state is amongst the poorest.
The rural poor
The majority of the population live in rural areas, where there is a high poverty rate. Agriculture is a large industry in the region, but this is hindered by parts of the district are vulnerable to flooding. Many living in rural areas have little access to adequate health care, or basic infrastructure, including safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.
Many people were displaced during the recent political instability, and they now live in camps. Not only did they loose their homes, but also their support networks and means earning an income.
Woman and children at risk
High unemployment, poverty levels, and political unrest have a negative impact upon women and children in the region. Children are often not sent to school because their parents cannot afford it, and may have to work to support their family's income.
Human trafficking is an increasing problem in the area, as those who are desperate fall for false promises given by traffickers. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. They may end up working as commercial sex workers or domestic workers.