Delhi NGOs working for the poor

The Rich Side of Delhi

With a nominal GDP of over $210 billion [1], Delhi is one of the most economically prosperous cities in India. [1] It is said that a typical resident of Delhi earns three times more than the average Indian. [2] It is the largest commercial centre in northern India. And has one of India’s largest and fastest-growing retail industries. [1]

The capital is looked upon as an exceptionally wealthy place due to its many post areas. But there is one more dark side that outsiders can’t think of but Delhiites can relate well to it. [3]

The Real Side of Delhi

Out of the 32 million Delhi residents [4], more than 1.7 million live below the poverty line [5]. In the same city with luxurious hotels, multi-storey glass buildings, opulent houses and a high class of living lie several places where people are battling to survive without bare necessities.

In search of jobs, education and better life, more than 6.3 million people have migrated to Delhi from other states. [6] And they form the majority of the poor and ignored section of Delhi. They suffer from polluted drinking water, sanitation issues, lack of basic human rights and necessary elements of a stable life. [7]

The poverty line is ₹ 1145 and ₹ 1134 for rural and urban Delhi respectively. [8] Around 12.92% of rural people and 9.84% of urban people of Delhi live below the poverty line. [9] COVID-19 has further decreased the income and livelihood sources significantly, leading to more complexities for the poor in Delhi [10] Around 76% of them were forced to leave their job during a pandemic. [11]

Since 2015, the Delhi Government has provided subsidies to the citizens of Delhi in the domains of healthcare, education, access to clean drinking water, electricity and women’s safety. Various welfare Schemes/ Programmes are being run by the Govt. for the upliftment of poor people. [10] But still, there is a great gap in formulating policies and implementing them, which is being fulfilled by the NGOs. [12]

Delhi NGOs for the Underprivileged


It is estimated that there are 76,000 NGOs in Delhi which work for different causes [13]. The sole objective of all is the welfare of society. [12] Some of the NGOs in Delhi NCR doing commendable work are mentioned below.

1. Asha India- Its mission is to work with the urban poor to bring about long-term and sustainable transformation to their quality of life. It works among the poor without discrimination of any kind with an aim to provide holistic community-based healthcare, empowerment, financial inclusion, education and environmental improvements. [14]

2. Krsh Welfare Foundation- Backed by influential leaders, its mission is to provide holistic wellness services to the underprivileged by focusing on their mental and physical health through its “Adopt a Village” campaign. It has provided mental health counselling services to hundreds of people and serves a village with 1,200 population. It aims to make mental wellness as accessible as physical wellness. [15]

3.     Robin Hood Army- It is a volunteer-based, zero-funds organization that works to get surplus food from restaurants and the community to serve less fortunate people. The lesser fortunate sections of society it serves include homeless families, orphanages, patients from public hospitals, and old age homes. [16]

4.  Lotus Petal Foundation- Founded in 2011, its mission is to provide exemplary education, nutritious meals, healthcare facilities and skill development to the underprivileged children and adults of the urban poor in India. [17]

5.     Goonj- It aims to build an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance and dignity between the cities and villages using the under-utilized urban material as a tool to trigger development with dignity, across the country. Some of the initiatives are dignity for work, school to school, and Rahat. [18]

6.     SapnaIt was limited initially to addressing the needs of a few patients, and later turned its attention to the destitution and despair of multitudes of the poor and vulnerable faced with exorbitant medical and other expenses far beyond their means. Its selfless work, commitment to social justice and determination to redress the suffering has improved thousands of lives. [19]

7. CARE- It ensures empowerment for marginalised women and girls. Its sustainable and holistic interventions in health, livelihood, education and disaster relief & resilience, provide innovative solutions to deep-rooted development problems. Its mission is to save lives, enable social protection and defeat poverty. [20]


8. OXFAM IndiaIt works to ensure that Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, and women and girls have safe violence-free lives with freedom to speak their minds, equal opportunities to realize their rights, and a discrimination-free future. It researches to find lasting solutions to end rising inequalities and exclusion of marginalized communities from getting decent jobs, quality free education and healthcare. [21]

Concluding Remarks

There are two contrasting sides of Delhi and unfortunately, the poorer side is mostly ignored, neglected, and uncared for by authorities and citizens. But fortunately, there are several NGOs working in the Delhi NCR region to provide support to the underprivileged in different domains like education, healthcare, basic essentials, etc. Their initiatives have helped in improving the lives of tens of thousands of poor people in Delhi.