The Salvation Army in Southeastern India
India is the oldest mission field of The Salvation Army. Work there commenced in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1882. The adoption of Indian names, dress, food and customs by pioneering officers gave them ready access to the public, particularly in villages. In addition to evangelistic work, various social programs were begun to relieve distress from famine, floods and epidemics.
Operations in the Tamil-speaking states of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu in south-east India began ten years later during the height of Tamil persecution. The Army's work in this region was supervised by the India Southern Territory until 1970, when the Tamil-speaking region became a separate entity due to its rapid growth.
Today the India South Eastern Territory has more than 500 active officers, 49,000 senior soldiers, 18,000 adherents and 5,000 junior soldiers in 310 corps, 84 outposts and 40 societies. Ministries are supplemented by almost 700 employees for 18 schools (K-12) and 50 institutions, such as medical clinics, children's homes and child development centers, vocational training and community health and economic development programs.
A recent territorial theme, "Intimacy with Christ," has encouraged many Salvationists to gain a deeper knowledge of Christ and experience a closer walk with God. The growing work in the territory's 10 divisions has dictated the need for more meeting halls and quarters.
Source: The Salvation Army 2012 Year Book