About the programme

We have been working in India since 1992. Paul Hamlyn spent time in India and wanted to help communities there. It is the only place we fund outside the UK.

On an early visit to India, Paul Hamlyn recognised that people and communities had inherent strengths which were often overlooked, particularly when living in challenging circumstances. Today, we continue to work with local organisations, aiming to focus on the areas where we can add most value. To that end, we work in priority geographical areas, giving grants to local NGOs for health, education, support for people with disabilities, shelter and other social development activities.

By doing so, we hope to give local agencies the resources that they need to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in India. Building the capacity of these organisations and the people that make change happen is one of our priorities in India. With over 700 projects funded over the last 30 years we have seen the power of their interventions in enabling people to access important human entitlements and safe spaces to keep children and young people away from harm.

Local agencies are also well placed to recognise where opportunities exist for communities. Whether that is by using sport to address gender inequality, arts and cultural activities to draw out difficult social issues or conservation projects that make the most of the local environment and economy – solutions can be found using local perspectives.

We introduced an updated strategic plan for India in 2023. We currently have an annual spend of GBP 2.2 m (about Rs. 22 crores). The strategy document is valid for 10 years through  2033.

Our funding in India focuses on vulnerable communities in a geographical priority area through an Open Grants Scheme. Funding is available for organisations operating outside the geographical priority area only by invitation.

Our strategy for India, summarised here, is laid out in full in our strategy paper. Read more about the programme’s mission and aims, and approach to evaluation and sharing learning.

Details of previous grants can be found here.