Duars is a tea-growing region nestled in the far northeast corner of India, wedged between Nepal and Bhutan in the foothills of the Himalayas. In partnership with Himalayan Evangelical Fellowship, we serve this community through offering microloans, small business training and serving spiritual needs in this community. The challenges here are great. The closing of many tea gardens, which used to be a main source of employment, has caused deep poverty and widespread joblessness. Recent political instability and a widespread sense of hopelessness make impacting this area feel like an uphill climb. Client projects here include raising livestock, like pigs and goats, to a small shop to tailoring businesses.
by the numbers:
Population under age 15: 27%
Religions: Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, other and unspecified 2%
Unemployment rate: 9%
Literacy rate: male: 81% / female: 61%
People living below poverty line: 22%
Sources: UNICEF; CIA; UNDP