Photo by Pathfinder India

As early as the 1930s, Pathfinder’s founder began investing in contraception initiatives in India. Here, in 1966, mothers and children attend a family planning information session. A poster on the wall reads “a small family is a happy family.”

Photo by Simon de Trey White

Today, Pathfinder’s work in India focuses on advancing the reproductive health and rights of underserved and vulnerable populations, particularly young people.

Photo by Karl Grobl

When adolescents are provided with information about their sexual and reproductive health, they often make life altering decisions—about marriage, planning a family, and staying in school —that help them live healthy, productive lives.

Photo by Simon de Trey White

The same courage and perseverance exists in many of the people Pathfinder serves across India, be it an expectant mother making plans for a hospital delivery, or a sex worker educating her peers about HIV prevention.

Pathfinder India is committed to accelerating and amplifying programs that support the right to sexual and reproductive healthcare and safe motherhood for all.

partnering pathfinder india

In recent years, India has experienced unprecedented economic growth and now ranks as the world's tenth largest economy.

Across the country, women and girls of all ages are still in urgent need of quality health services. Adolescents—a critical, growing segment of the population—continue to go without reproductive health information and services. Of a total population of 1.29 billion, adolescents (ages 10-19 years) constitute nearly 30 percent, and investments in their health, education, and employment will shape the country's future. Young girls are especially at risk due to early marriage and early first pregnancy. Without knowledge of or access to family planning education and care, an early first pregnancy often results in another pregnancy shortly thereafter—starting a cycle of reproduction that can adversely affect the health and economic well-being of the entire family.

Pathfinder is committed to the people of India and their right to high quality sexual and reproductive health care. We have a long history of going where the need is greatest, ensuring India’s underserved populations can access the critical information and services they needfrom projects testing contraceptive methods in 1953 to integrating family planning into existing social welfare programs in the early 1970s.

Forty-seven percent of women in India ages 20-24 were married before they turned 18.

In 1999, a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported the first large-scale intervention to address the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young adults in Delhi slums, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Since then, Pathfinder's work has expanded to large projects addressing reproductive health and family planning; maternal and newborn health projects; and HIV and AIDS work. Pathfinder supports the Government of India and its partners to increase demand for family planning, reproductive health, and maternal health services, while equipping and empowering health care providers and communities to better address adolescent health, maternal child health, unsafe abortion, and HIV and AIDS.

To advance maternal and newborn health in India, Pathfinder implements programs for women at every step—from home to health facility. With our local partners, we train providers to help ensure safe pregnancies and deliveries and promote life-saving, emergency obstetric care. Pathfinder educates communities to identify danger signs of complications like postpartum hemorrhage—a leading cause of maternal death—and to activate transport systems for women to reach facilities for emergency care.


Your gift of $25 or $50 can help improve sexual and reproductive healthcare in India by supporting our work with public, private, and community partners to make informed health-related decisions.

Our Projects

Sashakt: Strengthening Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health

Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health

The Sashakt Project: Strengthening Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health aims to advance adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) among Mahadalit youth in Bihar, India.

The Salaamati Project: A Public Sector Family Planning Pilot Study

Contraception & Family Planning

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pathfinder will be working in partnership with government stakeholders and policymakers to expand family planning methods in Haryana, India.

Related Publications

June 2015

Saving Mothers' Lives

This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's ongoing commitment to addressing the urgent needs of pregnant women and how we are improving their chances for a safe delivery—from India, to Nigeria, to Pakistan.

August 2014

Research and Evaluation Working Paper Series

The purpose of the Working Paper Series is to disseminate work in progress by Pathfinder International staff on critical issues of population, reproductive health, and development.

December 2013

The Way We Live: Advancing Health & Rights Through Integration

In a year of remarkable achievement, including Pathfinder’s landmark victory at the US Supreme Court and our return to Bangladesh with a $53.8 million project, what was most exciting? The answer—integration—is the theme of Pathfinder’s 2013 Annual Report.

May 2013

PRAGYA: Multisectoral, Gendered Approach to Improve Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health for Young People

PRAGYA, meaning "insight" in Sanskrit, is a mixed methods study commissioned by USAID and conducted by Pathfinder India to improve understanding of the effects of Phases I and II of the PRACHAR project.

Related News

Pathfinder Wins Quality Innovation Challenge

On August 16, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced Pathfinder as one of the 2016 Quality Innovation Challenge awardees. The Quality Innovation Challenge is a global call for creative ideas to improve quality in sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents and youth.
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