The Republic of India is the largest democracy in the world. Modern India is a land of contrasts. It is a world leader in many fields of science and technology, and is home to a rich diversity of spiritual traditions. It is pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic.
India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Despite the affluence enjoyed by increasing numbers of its citizens, millions of people live in poverty. Although the traditional caste system is no longer legal, it remains operative at many levels within the social framework and continues to entrap groups of people in entrenched disadvantage.
Women have held and continue to hold senior leadership roles in all areas of Indian society. At the same time, women do not possess equality with men, and may be subject to serious violence both within the home and in the public arena. In 2010 the Women's Reservation Bill was passed, requiring that 33% of seats in India's Parliament and state legislative bodies be reserved for women.
India is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
Five Sisters of the Good Shepherd were sent to India by St Mary Euphrasia from the Motherhouse in Angers, France in 1854. This new foundation in India was the first in the Asia Pacific region.
Over the next century, the Sisters built up institutional ministries, including educational and health facilities, and some orphanages. In recent decades, the Sisters have expanded their outreach into rural areas, remote from established services and programmes.
Following a process of discernment, in 2013 the sisters took the decision to develop two Provinces:
South West India and
Central East India/Nepal.
The Sisters’ ministries are in the fields of: Education, Residential Care, Health and Social Action.
Education: Nursery, Primary, High and Higher Secondary Schools.
Residential Care: Boarding and homes for disadvantaged children and young girls of dalits, tribals, poor, street children and Child labourers. Creche for children, a Crisis Intervention centre. Hostel for low income working girls, Prison Ministry.
Health: Primary Health Centres.
Social Action: Anti-Human trafficking, Children’s parliaments, Rural and slum development, Dalit and Tribal development, Domestic workers, Legal aid, Skill development, Sponsorship, Women in prostitution and their children, Child line.
The Sisters in India stand in solidarity for support of a freedom movement to end generations of deep violence and suppression faced by millions of Indian woman and girls in this Womanifesto
Click here to see a short documentary film (10 minutes) of Good Shepherd ministries of inclusion and social empowerment: Reaching the Unreached -