Rajpura, Punjab

Children from Rajpura, IndiaSOS Children's Village Rajpura

In the 1980s and 1990s, the province of Punjab, India suffered from those fighting for independence.  Many thousands became refugees and orphans as a result.

At first, some of the orphans were taken to the SOS Children's Villages near Delhi; then the provincial government of the Punjab region put a piece of land near the town of Rajpura at the disposal of SOS Children to build a new SOS Children's Village.

Rajpura, which is about 250 km from Delhi, is an important trading centre for grain in the south-west of the province. The SOS Children's Village is situated on the outskirts of Rajpura and consists of 14 family houses, staff accommodation, a multi-purpose hall and the necessary administration and service area.

Other SOS Projects in Rajpura

 There is also an SOS Nursery School, which is open to children from the neighbourhood. Schools, hospitals and other important facilities are located within a distance of 3 km. The SOS sick bay provides basic medical care to the inhabitants of the SOS Children's Village and the local population.

An SOS Youth Home was opened at Rajpura in 2000. Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Home when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with relatives and friends, as well as with the relevant authorities and potential employers.

In 2003, SOS Children launched its family strengthening programmes in Rajpura. These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together. SOS Children works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children.

The Rajpura family strengthening programme provides nutritional, educational and health support as well as vocational training, career counselling sessions and job placement support. Families are linked with existing self-help groups; if there is no group, a new one is formed. The programme also aims at raising awareness of hygiene and child rights and improving people's parenting skills.

Background to Rajpura

Rajpura is a city and a municipal council in Patiala district in the Indian state of Punjab.  Rajpura is situated nearly 40 km south east of Chandigarh, the capital city of Punjab. Besides being an important industrial town of Punjab, it also has historical importance. 

The town has a population of over 82,000 people. Rajpura has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 70%.