Child Opportunity Fund  

India has one of the youngest populations in the world, with 431 million under the age of 18. Various factors such as lack of access to education and weak financial conditions of families hamper children’s development, safety and aspirations. Indian children also learn to use online tools quickly and have a high risk of harmful exposure online. In India, we are supporting the Government’s initiatives and policies that help children grow safely and access the opportunities to grow and thrive.

Natasha Poonawalla (2)

“I am committed to working with the British Asian Trust and its partners to achieve our joint vision of protecting children from harm and ensuring they have access to the same opportunities in the future as all of us.”

Natasha Poonawalla, Chair of the British Asian Trust's Children's Protection Fund for India

The opportunity  

India’s laws, policies and programmes provide a comprehensive framework for protection of children. However, due to the complexity and scale of the issue, efforts are often splintered. Government, law enforcement, child services, non-government organisations, and funders must work together to strengthen child protection systems, including education, channel resources into effective solutions, generate high-quality data, and create change at scale.  

Delivering quality education and reducing dropouts and helping families secure sustainable incomes can reduce the risk of harm to children, while community engagement is critical to change social and cultural norms and fight gender biases. 

Our approach

All children deserve a happy childhood and the opportunity to lead a dignified life safe from violence, exploitation, neglect, and discrimination. Our USD 50 million Child Opportunity Fund is an ambitious 10-year initiative to help millions of children in India live their lives to the fullest potential.  

We help vulnerable families access better livelihood opportunities, minimising the chances of them sending their children to work, or forcing them into early marriage. Our programmes also address regressive social and cultural norms and gender biases in communities. By focusing on education and regular attendance, we help lower the risk of children being forced to drop out of school for work or other reasons. 

Our programme  

Our work is spread across Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Delhi. To date, we have started 13 programmes with 50 partner organisations. We have four focus areas: 

  • Implement holistic preventive approaches that build child, family and community resilience 
  • Prevent and deter online abuse and exploitation of children and risks from other emerging threats 
  • Work with the government at different levels to strengthen systems for child protection.  
  • Strengthen the child protection ecosystem through data, evidence, and multi-stakeholder collaboration 

“I am very honoured to be appointed as an Ambassador of the British Asian Trust by His Majesty King Charles III. From my first meeting with him in Mumbai with Natasha Poonawalla, it was very clear that his drive to do good and make an impact was infectious and I am so happy I can help use my voice to shine a light on the work of the Trust to support children across South Asia.”

Katy Perry, British Asian Trust Ambassador

Latest news about our child protection work in India

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    Katy Perry appointed British Asian Trust Ambassador

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