Skip to main content



Even though India is today synonymous with a fast growing economy and fast growing middle class, 42% of India’s 1.25 billion person population lives below the World Bank’s defined international poverty line of $1.25 per person, per day. Life for “low-caste” villagers is a vicious cycle of repression kept in motion by illiteracy and lack of education or opportunity. VIRD focuses its activities specifically on the Odisha region of West India with ~60% tribal population, and significant issues such as lack of basic food supply and high level of violence against women.

The idea

Located in Deogargh, Odisha, West India, the Voluntary Institute for Rural Development has created a boarding facility for ~40 disadvantaged girls from 10-16 years, some of them orphans, some of them from impoverished families. The organization ensures that the girls can live in a protected environment where they are kept safe and healthy. They also ensure that the girls can build a future for themselves by attending school and receiving tutoring in vocational skills such as tailoring.

Our contribution and relationship

The boarding facility was founded with the help of McKinsey for Children. VIRD, an organization active since 1987 in India. The organization approached McKinsey 4 Children in 2016 with the concrete proposal of opening the boarding facility with McKinsey 4 Children's support. After adequate due diligence on the organization by McKinsey leadership located in India, the boarding facility was opened in the later months of 2016. Katharina Ecker is in regular interaction with the boarding facility, including the children, and VIRD's leadership, e.g. through skype sessions. Apart from the establishment of the boarding facility, McKinsey 4 Children supports operating costs and all costs for the 40 children, including tuition fees, clothing and food.