Skip to Main Content

India 2010




Republic of India / Bharatiya Ganarajya
In Southern Asia; upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north; 3,287,590 km2 (= 1/3 U.S.), 49% arable.

Capital New Delhi (pop. 10M)

Population 1.1 B (349/km2)

Life expectancy 69 years


Literacy 61%

Lang(s) Hindi (national language, spoken by 41%); other 14 official languages – Bengali, Telegu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit; English (official, most important language for national, political and commercial communication); Hindustani is spoken widely in the north

Religions Hindu (81%), Muslim (13%), Christian (2%), Sikh (2%); other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi (1.8%)

Ethnic Groups Indo-Aryan (72%), Dravidian (25%), Mongoloid and other (3%)

Gov’t Federal republic

GDP/cap $2,900

PCVs 1961-1976, agriculture, food production, nutrition, family planning, health, childcare programs, English language, science education (4,325 volunteers served)

Nat’l holiday Republic Day, 26 January (1950)

Adult Books

India: In Word and Image
by Eric Meola

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Welcome Books; 2nd ed. edition (October 14, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1599620497

Book Description
Rose-ringed parakeets nesting in trees or henna on a woman's hands, his photographs are an affectionate tribute to the subcontinent's diversity and history.
A photographer’s affectionate tribute to the subcontinent's diversity and history.

Kids' Books

Keeping Corner
by Sheth, Kashmira

Format: Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN: 978-0786838608
Age Range: 12–16 years
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition, 2007

CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2008)

In a spellbinding story, one girl’s struggle to determine her own future plays out against the backdrop of India’s fight for independence as a nation. Twelve-year-old Leela is widowed before she even has a chance to move in with her husband and his family. Now, the tradition of her caste dictates she will spend a year “keeping corner.” Head shaved, she is not allowed to leave home. For the rest of her life, she will be a widow. Leela’s older brother is outraged: Leela’s future should not be sacrificed to tradition. India is changing, he tells his parents. Under the leadership of Ghandi, people are finding the strength and inspiration to stand together and defy the status quo in the name of justice. Leela is her parent’s beloved youngest child. They are devastated by what has happened, but they also believe that following tradition is a way to protect both Leela and their family. But they do agree to let Saviben, the principal of Leela’s school, come into their home and give Leela lessons. Saviben encourages Leela to read the paper, to think about what is happening in India and the larger world. Leela begins to understand she can be part of something bigger—part of the intoxicating changes happening in her country—but it’s all dependent on convincing her parents to let go of their fears. Kashmira Sheth’s storytelling is steeped in evocative descriptions of place and time, and peopled with vivid, complex characters in a rich, multilayered novel. Ages 12-16.
© Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Reprinted with permission.


Film: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker


Various Artists (World Music Network): Rough Guide to the Music of India

Focus Word

Focus Word for 2010 - "Justice"

Hindi: nyai (nya-eye)

Become a Member

Join RPCVs of Wisconsin - Madison to stay connected and support Peace Corps community initiatives! 




  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison is a public charity registered under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. Its EIN is 39-1669348. It is also an affiliate group of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).

NPCA champions lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals by connecting, engaging and promoting its members and affiliate groups as they continue to make a difference in communities in the U.S. and abroad. NPCA is also dedicated to advocating for, contributing to, and supporting the betterment of the Peace Corps. Visit NPCA to learn more